Thursday, March 05, 2015

Thursday Poem - Return to Earth

Through the weeks of deep snow
we walked above the ground
on fallen sky, as though we did
not come of root and leaf, as though
we had only air and weather
for our difficult home.
But now
as March warms, and the rivulets
run like birdsong on the slopes,
and the branches of light sing in the hills,
slowly we return to earth.
Wendell Berry

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Sunday, March 01, 2015

Sunday - Saying Yes to the World

Ask who keeps the wind
Ask what is sacred
Margaret Atwood

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Friday, February 27, 2015

Friday Ramble - The Sound of Snow

If only you could hear the sound of snow. 
Hakuin Ekaku
Deep cold, falling snow and ice... One expects such things in February.  There are times when skies at sunrise are clear and bright blue, and they seem to go on and on forever.  More often, heavy clouds conceal the sky, and all the north is a tempest of blowing white.  I've written of such winter days before: fey intervals when a winter squall appears out of nowhere, and the lake and its frozen gorge are so quiet one can snowflakes falling and coming to rest among the trees. When asked why I live where I do, I usually mention the perfect flaming autumns here, but I should be talking about the glorious winters. Every single one is a marvel.

I arose early a few days ago, looked out the window at the storm coming in and fumed silently.  It was not the weather that made me surly and a tad morose, it was the absence of light.  Clouds covered the sky from horizon to horizon, and the sun was completely blotted out.  This far on in winter, one will do almost anything for a little light.

The cure for the winter peeves and gloomies is simple - get out the parka and heavy gloves, brew a flask of tea, grab snowshoes and camera, then make tracks for the gorge above Dalhousie Lake. The winding road to the lake is slick with ice and treacherous driving, but the scenery is grand, and balm to a winter weary spirit too, an essential element in this ardent and arduous journey into the wild.

The trees on the heights are manitous who stand looking over the frozen landscape in robes of white.  Behind them, all is blue sky and blowing snow.  Sometimes standing up there feels like being in the high Himalayas, but, of course, no trees grow on the roof of the world. From the edge of the lake below, one sees little or nothing of the far shore. The gorge's granite walls amplify sound wonderfully, and the north wind speaks (or sings) volumes as it makes its way down the deep corridor of old stone.

Joints protesting, I bend to look closely at the snow on spruces at the bottom of the ravine, and every suspended crystal is a sea of light. When I catch a flake on my tongue, it tastes like champagne.  Who was that flaky female mourning the absence of light a few hours ago?  One thing is certain - the English language could use a few more words for wonders like falling snow.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Thursday Poem - Winter

WINTER, a sharp bitter day
the robin turns plump against the cold
the sun is weak
silver faded from gold

he is late in his coming and short in his stay
Man, beast, bird and air all purging, all cleansing, earth already
purified awaits the rite of spring
Her bridal gown a virgin snow and frosts in her hair
A snowdrop by the road today bowed gracefully and high upon
the wing up in the sparkling nothingness, a lone bird
began to sing
Can gentle spring be far away?

Tommy Makem

Wednesday, February 25, 2015