words inspired by nature
In the fall of 2021, Villanova University’s Nature Writing Workshop met at Stoneleigh: a natural garden to take inspiration from that unique space.
It was the garden’s copse of pines that inspired Ciara Coulter, a chemical engineering major and English minor.
“They are incredibly beautiful and supremely tall, and I was struck by how soldier-like they were in stature and uniformity. Beneath them lies no brush save for a carpet of ferns. I began to ponder: why was there so little middle growth? What might the relationship between these two plants be? Quite taken by this scene, I explored one whimsical possibility.”
There is a Grove of White Pines
Small and sleepy, the first among plants grew under starlight. Like nightcrawlers, they sprawled across the earth, a dense carpet, soft and muffled. In a dreamlike daze, they whispered to one another, roots hugging and tendrils swaying, dancing ever so slightly. Their spectral chorus called to every plant, uniting them, sustaining them in song. In their stupor they swam, but something lurked beneath their soft, unchanging hymns. Restlessness. And then the deep night sky started to brighten.
One lone star began to grow, to bolden amongst a sea of speckled sky.