Friday, January 01, 2021

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 Beau and I need to be out in the 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 cedar for the deer - we take along shears to cut that. 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 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. Shadows rippled and flowed 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 evergreen 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. 

We are still mourning the passing of our soulmate a year ago and trying to reimagine life without him, a painful and bewildering undertaking. One friend (Waverly Fitzgerald) passed beyond the fields we know on December 13, 2019, another friend journeyed onward two weeks later, and a third departed a few months ago. All four succumbed to cancer after battling it like the courageous warriors they always were. There has been too much suffering and death in the world, and we grieve for those who departed, but we also give thanks for the gift of having known them.

Resolutions this year??? In this year of plague, uncertainty and sequestering, my heart is not in making resolutions, and there won't be any lofty aspirations scrawled on paper or etched in stone this time around.  There will be just the same old work in progress, lurching onward together, breathing in and out, in and out, in and out. That will have to be enough.

In the words of Osaka Koryu, when we breathe in, we will breathe in the whole universe. When we breathe out, we will breathe out the whole universe. Beau and I will  go along together, paw in paw, and we will simply keep putting one foot in front of the other. As always on our walks, we will talk with the great trees and look for the light. Happy New Year!


Tabor said...

Your blog is the perfect place for me to visit on New Year's Day. The words have hope after admitting pain and that is where we all are.

Wendi said...

Happy New Year, Cate and Beau! Hoping for brighter days ahead for us all.

Barbara Rogers said...

I read your words, and the tightness in my shoulders (which I was unaware of) just melts down an inch or two. Connections. Hope your new 2021 year is full of blessings, and that you and Beau enjoy your walks and inspire each other here in your blogs. Yes, I also miss those who have passed from this physical plane, and ask their spirits to remember our good times together.

Debbie Grace said...

Sending warm thoughts
Big hugs
and much Love.

Wishing you and Beau a wonderful new year.

bev said...

Wishing both of you all the best in the coming year, Cate.