Beauty & Decay...

Yesterday was an epic rock hunting day for me. 6 hours. It was me and the sun, the water, the sand, the birds and the stones. This particular beach where I landed is all stones and I fell completely under the spell of the moment.

This year we have a lot of small fish that are not native and do not adapt well to the temperature changes of Lake Michigan waters. The shore is lined with them in various stages of decay, the flies are well fed and the scavenger birds are happy.

"Alewife .... colonized the Great Lakes and became abundant mostly in Lake Huron and Lake Michigan... Alewife grew in number unchecked because the lakes lacked a top predator (lake trout were essentially wiped out around the same time by overfishing and the invasion of the sea lamprey)..." (From Wikipedia)

There is the smell that goes with decay and disintegration. While the smell is not pleasant, it is not enough to stop an avid rock hounder on her first full fledged rockhounding day of the season! I even had my mom's magnifying glass with me. My whole being was engaged in digging and exploring when I happened to look down and noticed there was a dead fish stuck between my toes! I stopped and I let myself take it in.

Nature is full of metaphors and here was the cycle of life in action and up close. I thought, "Can I stay present for decay as well as beauty?" Not that I need to walk around with a dead fish between my toes, but can I acknowledge the energy of disintegration. It feels easier to stay present for beauty. We are taught to cultivate beauty all of our lives. We hide decay, in our trash cans, in landfills, in graves, in all manner of methods.

So what is my message... get out in nature and pay attention! The questions are there, the possibilities are there, the answers are there - and usually there is more than one option. Right now the messages from nature feel more reliable than the messages from humans - did I really say that?! Yep, I did. No hidden agendas - just a dead fish going through the process of decay. Happy summer!