Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Restless Days

Perhaps restless feelings are inevitable at such a liminal time of year as this. We stand on the cusp between autumn and winter, a poignant interval harbinging the end of the old Celtic year on October 31 and the arrival of the new year which awaits us somewhere just over the windy withered hills.

All the migrating wild creatures who are still here in the highlands seem agitated and anxious to be off on their adventures: mallard ducks, gulls and geese to name a scant handful of restless local residents who turn south on the edge of winter.

I'm restless too, and words alone don't "do it" for me at this time of the year; nor do images. Morning after morning, I scribble a few words here and regard them with impatience and disdain. I prowl through old photo archives, looking for an image which adequately describes the dark foggy day beyond the windows, the dried grasses in the garden, the wilting shrubbery, the bare and eloquent trees.

Archive prowlings at the break of day are perilous undertakings at the best of times - volume after volume of photo archives, disk after disk of images, and they all leave something to be desired. At this time of the year, I sometimes ponder flogging the cameras to a pawn shop and taking up soap operas or macrame.

What I really need right now is sunlight and clear skies, several inches of snow and a few hours of happy wandering through the woods on snowshoes: cameras slung around my neck, pockets crammed full of filters, lenses and other photographic trappings, food for the birds and Spencer's homemade doggy biscuits too.

Out of the wind on such winter potterings lies a fine blue stillness, pools of articulate silence, long resonant conversations with the dreaming trees. Camus wrote that in the depths of winter, he discovered within himself an invincible summer. I suspect that for this old and creaky hen, what lies invincible within is a Lanark Highlands winter in all its sparkling snow bound grandeur.

As above, so below..... On winter mornings before sunrise the sky goes on forever, and one can almost touch the dancing stars overhead. Below the region of the winter stars, snow dunes roll away toward the limitless horizon in billows and swirls and waves, and the world is made new by wind and whiteness.

My parka and snowshoes are out of storage, and they long to set off on adventures. Let Lady Winter come, we are ready.

6 comments:

Rain said...

Your wandering in winter sounds delightful. Down here in my part of the Pacific Northwest, we have to make the best of the days such as you are describing now. It will be how it will be until finally spring arrives again. I do love how the Celtic new year is set, really all the seasonal celebrations as they make more sense to me than our more 'modern' ones.

Pallas Renatus said...

I can't wait to see a real winter again. The 2 or 3 days of frost we get a year down here aren't nearly cutting it.

the wild magnolia said...

The transition from summer to window is a wide berth. From the baring down heat to the bone chill. Wide open space shrinks to indoor walls. The cloud of gray seems to enter our mind space and the longing for the sun and a place to wander calls forth to be answered.

Wishing the sun and snow to come your way soon.

Great post. The Mallard is a divine duck.

sending love, magnolia

Alcester nature photography. said...

I love the softness in the light at this time of year, as in your shot of the Mallard,superb

Anonymous said...

A beautiful picture. You describe describe yourself as a creaky old hen but your hands and eye capture such grace!

One Woman's Journey said...

Beautiful image. You always seem to be able to describe this One Woman". Restless is the word.
Rain, the golden leaves are falling, I walk outside, look out the windows, check the computer and I am still - restless...
I think it is partly due to the weather and the time change next week.