Friday, January 04, 2019

Friday Ramble - First of the Year

The Winter Solstice came and went, and light is slowly returning to the world. Northern days 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.

January is a bitter month here, a time of snow and penetrating icy cold. It's 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, however short our stay - the rambles nourish and sustain us, and we take them even on the coldest days in winter.  I carry a walking stick for treacherous areas on the trail, a camera of some sort, binoculars, a notebook and pen, a thermos of tea and Beau's biscuits.  There is seed for the birds, apples and cut cedar for the deer. It's a fair bit of weight to carry up into the woods, but we are used to doing it, and we don't think of the stuff we are carrying as a burden.

"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 connection with my native place, 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 Osaka Koryu, when I breathe in, I will breathe in the whole universe. When I breathe out, I will breathe out the whole universe.

Thanks to ongoing health issues, long rambles are still in abeyance, but that is quite all right. Being right here and able to take this amazing world in, that is a breathtaking gift.


Pienosole said...

And your "rambles" are a gift to so many of us. Thank you!

Barbara Rogers said...

I get to breath in your words, and thus a bit of your walk as well as rambles become part of me. Grateful.

One Woman's Journey - a journal being written from Woodhaven - her cottage in the woods. said...

your words and images
a gift
and I imagine tagging along
miss my walks in the woods
but the memories will never leave me.

sarah said...

So beautiful. I wish you all the very best for your health <3

Shelley said...

Lovely to think of you out a-rambling. Sending love and wishes for greater ease...