Stormy Days on the Stream of Life: Beth’s Travels on the Bartram Trail #16

Take a moment to listen to my reading aloud of William Bartram’s Words, from William Bartram’s Travels.

This is a reading from Bartram’s Travels on the Altamaha, wherein a lunar eclipse and a storm occur. Take a moment to listen to his words….

*

Live Oak on Lagoon by Beth Thompson

Live Oak on Lagoon by Beth Thompson Click on image to view larger or order prints

A hospitable live oak…

Much like the one William Bartram choose to spend the night beneath on this autumn evening in the 1700’s. Down here south-ways, even live oaks participate in Southern Hospitality.

Rock Shoals Pines by Beth Thompson

Rock Shoals Pines by Beth Thompson Click on image to view larger or order prints

Surrounded by a stand of pines…

Such as these, but, I believe, much much larger. This is a stand of young pine trees, taken near Rock Shoals in Athens, however….

 
Oconee Forest Pine by Beth ThompsonOconee Forest Pine by Beth Thompson
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The pine tree above is of a more respectable size, I found it in Oconee Forest, a 100-year-old forest on the University of Georgia Campus. Still, I do not believe it is truly old-growth, as William Bartram’s Stand of Pines must have been.

A dark eclipse comes slowly on!

 
Crescent Moon by Beth ThompsonCrescent Moon by Beth Thompson
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And at length, a silver thread encircles her temples…..

Image from Mystic Mamma

William Bartram must have spent half the night watching this eclipse, as lunar eclipses take hours, say 3 or 4. However, he may have only watched the first half, until the moon was fully eclipsed.

How thou art ruffled…

William speaks to the Altamaha, during a tempest. I myself was treated to such a tempest on my recent journey to the coast. Instead of sheltering beneath a live oak, I was driving when the storm hit. Luckily I had just gotten off the interstate in Savannah, and was not obliged to drive at high speeds. At times, my visibility was zero. I pulled off the road finally and waited out the tempest.

Driving Rain by Beth ThompsonA moment of somewhat decent visibility in the rain….
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Rain Tree Window by Beth Thompson
The water flowing over the windows “ruffled” this picture of the Tree and parking lot.
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Rainstorm Tree by Beth Thompson
The spanish moss shows how the wind was blowing, as do the streaks of rain.
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I was grateful for the shelter of my car, however, as I was driving when the rain hit, I think that perhaps William was much safer during the tempest he experienced, beneath the hospitable live oak, if perhaps he was also wetter.

All is deranged…

And in that William referred not so much to the storm, as to the pain we humans go through, when our lofty goals, our higher selves, are thwarted by the baser passions of human nature. Yet, as he implies, we only need have a little patience, a little faith, and This Too Shall Pass, and the sunlight of the spirit will return once again.

Meanwhile, one can make lemonade…

Driving in the Rain: Possible Pilgrimage 6039 by Beth ThompsonDriving in the Rain: Possible Perception 6039 by Beth Thompson
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As I proceeded to do, with this utterly deranged scene outside my windshield, with this lofty goal of great photography leading me to the insane behavior of taking pictures out the windshield while driving with zero visibility. Don’t try this at home kids!

And the sunlight of the spirit gently returns….

Dawning by Beth Thompson

Dawning by Beth Thompson: Click on image to view larger or order prints

*Opening stanza from the song “The Slacks” by Trip Shakespeare.

This entry was posted in Beth's Travels, Possible Perceptions, Possible Pilgrimages, William Bartram's Travels. Bookmark the permalink.

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