Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Another kind of beauty

I walked across the pastures, my eyes searching for flowers. Bumble bees visited the fat red clover blossoms with their tiny pools of nectar at the base of each petal. Small spheres of white clover were almost hidden by the grass, their leaves the three leafed clovers of legend. In the distance, feathery stems of deep purple alfalfa shifted in the wind. I stepped through the gate from high grass to the freshly cropped turf of the pasture the sheep were presently grazing. There it was, a small, star-shaped vertebra blooming in the grass, it’s central hole dark against the bleached white bone. A few steps beyond it lay a leg bone, long and thin, knobby cartilaginous ends gnawed away by whatever animal had dragged the bones from their resting place in the woods. Beyond the leg bone, two ribs nestled in the grass, curved slivers of white in the verdant green.
I gathered the bones as I walked. These bones were from a lamb - small, almost dainty, beautiful in their color, in their sculptural form. Not so much parts of a dead animal as pieces of art, waiting to be recognized. Art that had lived beneath the wool, the skin, the muscle of a bouncing, cuddly lamb. A lamb who had died, for some reason, lack of attention by the shepherdess most likely, but a lamb who was not wasted. Worm food, fox food, fertilizer. And finally, simple beauty. Flowers of a different kind.

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