Friday, January 05, 2018

Friday Ramble - First of the Year

The Winter Solstice came and went, and light is slowly returning to the world. Our days are are growing longer, but the effects of December's turning are felt in their own good time, and it will be a while before we sense real change in the length of our days, notice a difference in the landscape.

January is the most bitter month here in the north, a time of snow and penetrating icy cold. It's always tempting to remain indoors and just curl up by the fire with mugs of tea and books, but we three need to be out in the Lanark woods now and again - snowy rambles there nourish and sustain us, and so we take them even on the coldest days in winter.  I carry a walking stick for treacherous areas on the trail, some sort of camera, binoculars, a notebook and pen, a thermos of tea and Beau's biscuits. It's a fair bit of weight to tote along with a toboggan of seed for the birds and apples for the deer, but we muddle through somehow.

"Crunch, crunch, crunch" went our mukluks a few days ago as we made our way along the trail to the bird feeders.  It was surely our imagination this early in the year, but the snow seemed brighter than it was a few days ago. Sunlight sparked through the trees, and everything glittered. The light was sublime. We felt as rich as old Croesus - as if every jeweler's vault on the planet had been looted and the glittering contents spilled out at our feet.

There was flickering movement in woodland hollows, and shadows seemed to waver and flow like quicksilver as the wind moved through the trees. Shapes seemed less attenuated, deeper and more intense, more blue.  Here and there, a sprig of frozen green poked out of the snow, and the color was a hopeful thing, one that not even the biting north wind could carry away in its gelid paws.

Resolutions this year??? No resolutions scrawled on paper or etched in stone, only the same old work in progress - trying to be fully present and paying attention, cultivating an intimate connection with my native woods and fields, getting out of my own way and letting the camera see what it will see, just breathing, in and out, in and out.  In the words of Surya Das, "There's nothing to do but remain in the view".

Thanks to the last year's health issues, long rambles are still on hold, but that is quite all right. Staying passionate and engaged, being right here and able to take this amazing world in, that is a beautiful, breathtaking gift.


Barbara Rogers said...

There is such beauty in winter...even frigid days, especially when the sun comes out, and oh the blue blue skies! I met a fellow walker at the lake when temps were below 20 degrees F, and she said, "I just had to get outside again." I admit I only walked 1/3 of the lake perimeter, but it was definitely worth being all bundled and having a frosty nose.

Barbara Rogers said...

That was less than 20 degrees, not 20 degrees below 0!

Kiki said...

How I love your rambles!
I really wish you a Happy New Year, happy not in overflowing terms but that your health and that of yours may improve/stay better, that your losses are few and that your heart may stay thankful and peaceful.
Beautiful capture, also on the days I’m not commenting..... Love the stillness of your work. Makes me also often think of my one very harsh winter I spent in Canada - it was cold even for this Swiss woman!

Kameshwari said...

Oh, what a delightful scene, to visualize you three, walking across the sparklings of snow covered earth. The sled, the Beau, the mukluks, so perfect in composition. Even your mention of no written New Year's resolutions has such a bold visual. Happy New Year!