On our ridge here in the mountains outside of Asheville, the breezes of the valley become winds as the coves act like funnels, compressing the moving air and speeding it up;  nature’s jet engines at times (not especially last night, however).

Last night northwestern winds blew away our winter’s 70 degree hazy day and pulled in a 37 degree day with those high definition NC blue skies.

I hear the silence loudly and my awareness flows quietly into it.  I want to convey the serenity of being the observer of beauty.

The sense of serene beauty calls up for me Goethe’s great poem, Wanderer’s Nightsong II (Wanderers Nachtlied II).  I want so much to be able to share the beauty I have enjoyed in my life from my lifelong passion for the cultural gifts to the world from Germany, but haven’t yet found a way to pass that on to those who do not understand German.  My limping translation does not even begin to hint at the masterful union of sound, image and thought in the original — which he wrote without corrections, strikeouts, correction fluid, erasers, autocorrect, iCloud backup or an Apple wireless keyboard connected by bluetooth to an iPhone6, which is what I’m harnessed to here.

Should anyone want to get some sense of beautiful serenity this poem offers, see Mathias Goerne — some say he is the gold standard for baritones in the world today — sing Schubert’s setting of this most magnificent of German poems.  It is available on YouTube.  Sad that I can only offer my poor ersatz, here it is anyway:

Calm covers the


In all the treetops

you scarcely sense

even a breath;

The little birds are hushed

in the coppice.

Tarry a bit, soon

you too will find rest.