Friday, January 04, 2008

Friday Ramble - Acceptance

at sunrise on winter days,
my trail is through new fallen snow —
and every footfall a waxing moon

my muffled footsteps rise
through snow-drowned spruces —
like heartbeats in darkness

the goldenrod and milkweed pods,
great spruces weighted under snow —
all nod in early greeting

ghost choirs of summer grosbeaks
sing above my head — and icicles
form along rooflines as I pass

winter rounds this village, smoothing
the contours of house and street alike —
and spinning deserts out of snow

in morning softness, I know myself
at last — perfect, still and complete,
nothing is abandoned or left behind.

I am looking at the turning seasons in this cold northern place and taking it all within, accepting and embracing everything with clear eyes and an open heart: every shard of sunlight and cavorting moonbeam — every cloud, tree and noctilucent darkness — every blizzard and engulfing snowfall — every whirling dust mote, feathery drift and snow-draped branch — each warty pod and gossamer drift of milkweed silk.

Mug of coffee in hand this morning, I trace the exuberant flowing curves of frost and ice forming on the kitchen window and gaze at the patterns like someone seeing the world for the first time. The skies are dark and cloudy, and I look in vain for a scrap of moon beyond the windows, waning now rather than waxing. Moonless, I muse about the myriad wonders here and out on my windswept hill and quiet woods in the Lanark Highlands, and I know this is where I should be. I am meant to be here, to accept this realm and embrace it without reservation — deep snow, biting winds and ossifying coldness — all of it.

How do we go about conserving this vast wealth, I wonder. How do we hold this earthy abundance and grandeur safe for our children and for their children, for all those who will take the trail when we have gone on ahead and are kicking up our heels somewhere else? When we are gone, who will take up this mantle of acceptance and treat this world with loving care?

If you feel like writing about acceptance, feel free to do so and leave a link to your own wise thoughts in the comments (dancing flames) here.


Marcie said...

Cate, I wrote a little something today on the topic of acceptance:

Shelli said...

Oh I need to find more time to write about these lovely topics you choose. Seems like my little one is getting to be more and more "high maintenance" each day!

Anonymous said...

winter is beautiful isn't it. its a pity more people can't stop and take the time to observe its silent beauty. The rust of the fallen leaves, the grays in the bare trees, the brilliant blue on the skin in contrast, even the beautiful blue grays of the distant mountains and unbelievably clear night skies.

Ed said...

Cate, Just a word to thank you for the daily inspiration I receive from your site. You have even inspired me to take my writing public, to move from journal to blog. It is a scary step for an old man to expose his thoughts to others, especially experienced people such as yourself. My intended readership are family and friends so maybe they will be kind. Wish you the best in 2008.

Weeping Sore said...

A thinking blogger! What a lovely poem. I started to say that one of the most valuable lessons I've learned as a gardener is acceptance of my horticultural "failures", but that isn't quite right. What I have learned is to accept that when things die, or are cut short in their prime by other forces of nature, it's not so much a failure as a lesson.
Thank you for the luminous photos that accompany your posts.

Anonymous said...

Dear Cate,

So beautiful, such acceptance is needed it is sometimes unthinkable by some. I accept where I am and what I have become. More people should. I take from our beautiful Mother Earth and I give back as much as I can. Our summer gardens are part of this natural process. Feel free to find out more about me at

Thank you Cate for sharing daily thoughts with us, you are amazing, truly amazing.

Soul sister

Debbie said...

Warm blessings, dear sister! I've written on acceptance as well...and I'm smiling.

Anonymous said...

Like Shelli, I've got a "high-maintenance" little monster, so I'll post a quick thought here. (My longer thoughts tend to live at I gave birth to said "monster" on December 28th of last year (2006), and my discovery of motherhood has been a process of learning acceptance. Such a wildly new aspect of my self emerged that my old "maiden" self was completely a larger body, by a tired-er mind, by a modus no longer dictated by my own whim but the intense base needs of another. As such, acceptance in this last year has meant not trying to accept who I think I am; rather, it has meant looking more intently at "who" it is that is "being" in each moment. I don't always like it, and it is not always peaceful or gentle, but I accept what is and so notice all the more what is constantly, brilliantly unfolding.

Val said...

Ive posted a few thoughts on "Acceptance" over on ArkSanctum, where I do a guest post or two.