Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Restless in February

Little things leave you feeling restless in February. You ramble through stacks of gardening catalogues, plotting another heritage rose or three, design new plots of herbs and heirloom veggies. You spend hours in the kitchen pummeling bread dough and stirring cauldrons of soup, summoning old Helios with cilantro, fragrant olive oils and recipes straight from Tuscany. You burn candles and brew endless pots of tea, sunlight dancing in every china mug.

You play with filters, apertures and shutter speeds, entranced (and occasionally irritated) with the surprising transformations wrought by your tinkerings. Camera around your neck, you float through the woods, peering into trees and searching for a leaf somewhere, even a single bare leaf. You scan cloudy evening skies, desperately hoping to see the moon, and you calculate the weeks remaining until the geese, the herons and the loons come home again.

It may not seem like it, but change is already on its way.  The great horned owls who reside on the Two Hundred Acre Wood are repairing their nest in an old oak tree about a mile back in the forest, and they are getting ready to raise another comely brood.  It comforts me to think it is all happening again.

This morning, a single maple leaf was teased into brief flight by the north wind, and it came to rest in the birdbath in the garden. A simple thing to be sure, but the pairing of golden leaf and blue snow was fetching stuff indeed. In its poignant wabi sabi simplicity, the little scrap of leathery foliage cradled an often and much needed reminder. This is the sisterhood of fur and feather, of snowbound earth and clouded sky, of wandering eye and dancing leaf.  Out of our small and frost rimed doings, a mindful life is made.