Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Shining Through

An unquiet time, the last days of February. At night, I give myself up to dreams of wild orchids, trout lilies and columbines, sunlight filtering through the trees and songbirds caroling in the leafy canopy.  Barefoot and nightgowned, I wander leafy understories in the wee hours of the morning, listen to wolves singing at twilight, follow clouds across the western field, eavesdrop on bullfrogs in the beaver pond and bees in the wild apple trees by the fence.

By day, I measure icicles dangling from the roof, assay the strength of returning sunlight and the length of shadows in the landscape, watch as snowdrifts recede from favorite trails looping through the woods, leaving puffs of snow like cotton wool and a fine lacy fretwork behind as they go. Moving along, I find myself listening for the telltale sound of maple sap dripping sotto voce down tree trunks.

... and the birds. That gentle hoot is the unforgettable call of a Great Horned Owl (bubo virginianis) communicating with her mate - he sits on their nest in the old oak as she hunts nearby. Other monotonous (and repetitive) notes are the swooping courtship ballad of the Saw-Whet Owl (aegolius acadicus), that fierce little harbinger of the approaching maple sugaring season.

It is a few minutes before two in the morning as I tap out this paragraph. The waxing moon, almost full, hovers in the western sky, and there are other radiant wonders to be seen through the kitchen window as I stand nearby with a mug of tea. Jupiter is a vivid presence in the southeast, and Spica, the brightest star in constellation Virgo, dances above it and to the right. The panorama is dazzling. The sky is a tapestry of faraway stars from here to there, and I forget the discomfort that woke me up an hour ago. I smile.

Rambles are brief by necessity this winter, but I take them whenever I can. Snowy trees, tiny red buds and artfully frosted grasses beckon as I lurch about with field notebook and camera; light flickers through the bare trees and slants across my path. My restlessness vanishes like smoke, and I rest easy in the moment, content just to be here and watching the day unfold. The particular feeling is a late winter Zen thing, and it is always a welcome guest on the threshold.


Laura~Pretty Pix said...

Lovely, highly enjoyable post!

Barbara Rogers said...

You are welcome to ramble, even if at 2 am and on the screen/page rather than in the woods. I am very appreciative of your views of the world, that what you see can be somehow interpreted and metamorphasized (I just made that word up) for me to enjoy also. Yes!

sarah said...

This is so beautiful, it's pure magic.