Friday, December 01, 2017

Friday Ramble - Anoint

The world is a nebulous place, and scenes that seldom invite a thoughtful glance later in winter are curiously soothing and comforting now. Fields are dusted with white like icing sugar, and old rail fences entice one's attention with a few rimed strands of rusty wire looped around their uprights. I am beguiled by the silvery textures and dry fragrance of weathered cedar posts, by frozen grasses blowing in the wind, by withered leaves fluttering through the air like birds. Ever possessed of a magpie mind, I gather everything up and tuck it away in my sconce.

This week's word comes to us from the Middle English anoynten, the past participle anoynt and the Old French enoint, all three forms originating in the Latin inunctus or inungere meaning to daub something or to sprinkle it with unguents, oils. salves or other liquids. When we anoint something, we consecrate it or make it sacred, and there is often an element of ritual or ceremony involved in such undertakings, a dedication to service.

The trail across the field and up into the forest to fill bird feeders is a sinuous ribbon winding among thickets, brambles and frozen milkweed, through groves and spinneys Edward Gorey would have loved to draw. Bare trees arch overhead, and their eloquent branches are anointed with snow. Every snowflake is a star, and we are moving through a winter cosmos, a whole world of stars, no two the same. When the wind quiets for a few minutes, one can actually hear snowflakes falling in the woods, and the sound is precious beyond words, one of my favorite musics in this hoary old span of earthly days.

It always seems to me that something wonderful is waiting to be known when the first snowfall anoints the highlands, something in no hurry to reveal itself as we make our way into the woods with nosh for our wild kin.

The French conductor Pierre Boulez wrote: "Just listen with the vastness of the world in mind. You can't fail to get the message." We listen, and there is no question whatsoever, this place is already sacred. It is enough just to be here and know that the grand, the fey and the elemental dwell in these winter woods and fields. Coming face to face with them on the trail is not necessary.

Happy December everyone!


Barbara Rogers said...

Your photos, art. Your words, poetry. The evoked feeling of having share this anointed moment, sublime.

Mystic Meandering said...

A "winter cosmos" - hearing snowflakes fall. How delightful! Definitely evokes a sense of the sacred - the wonders of "the hidden"...

sarah said...

Beautiful! Wishing you all the joys of December.