This is the fourth day of a dark northeast storm, wind and rain.
Day before yesterday was my birthday.
I have now entered on my 6oth year.
Every day of the storm,
protected by overshoes and a waterproof blanket,
I regularly come down to the pond,
and ensconce myself under the lee of the great oak;
I am here now writing these lines.
The dark smoke-colored clouds roll in furious silence athwart the sky;
the soft green leaves dangle all round me;
the wind steadily keeps up its hoarse, soothing music over my head —
Nature's mighty whisper.
Seated here in solitude I have been musing over my life —
as links of a chain,
neither sadly nor cheerily,
today here under the oak,
in the rain,
in an unusually matter-of-fact spirit.
But my great oak—
sturdy, vital, green —
five feet thick at the butt;
I sit a great deal near or under him.
Then the tulip tree near by—
the Apollo of the woods —
tall and graceful,
yet robust and sinewy,
inimitable in hang of foliage and throwing-out of limb;
as if the beauteous,
leafy creature could walk,
if it only would.
(I had a sort of dream-trance the other day,
in which I saw my favorite trees step out and promenade up,
down and around,
very curiously —
with a whisper from one,
leaning down as he passed me,
"We do all this on the present occasion,
just for you.")