Friday, January 14, 2022

Friday Ramble, Abundance

It may seem odd to be writing about abundance in the depths of winter, but here we are in the middle of January, and that is just what I am doing.

This week's word appeared in the 1400s, coming to us through Middle English and Old French, thence from the Latin abundāns, all meaning "full or overflowing". There are some lovely synonyms for the noun: affluence, bounty, fortune, plenty, plethora, profusion, prosperity, riches, wealth. As adjectives, Roget offers us the aforementioned "full and overflowing", as well as lavish, ample, plentiful, copious, exuberant, rich, teeming, profuse, bountiful and liberal.

We use abundance (or abundant) to describe circumstances of fullness, ripeness and plenty, most often in late summer and early autumn as we weed and reap and gather in, turn the earth for next year's sowing, harvest the bounty of the growing season and store it for consumption when the snow flies.

Winter's eye is as ardent as autumn's, but it views the world with a different camera, taking in evergreens against the clouds, the light falling across old rail fences, deep blue shadows across snow, dead leaves dancing in the wind, the thousand-and-one worlds resting easy in glossy icicles down by the creek. When sunlight touches them, the icicles are filled with blue sky and possibility, and they seem to hold the whole world in their depths. Cloaked in white, bales of hay left in winter fields are the coinage of summer passed, and they are eloquent reminders too. Each and every element cries out for attention, for patient eyes and a recording lens, for recognition, remembrance and a slender scrip of words.

The long white season is about harvest and abundance too, but the gathering is inward, the abundance quieter and sprinkled with questions. Around this time of the year, I find myself considering the shape of my journey, the slow progress through the field and forest and fen with camera and notebook, the sheaves of images captured and carefully archived, even the eyes with which this old hen is seeing the world. There are wonders to be encountered in winter, even when I can't move about much and must remain indoors. There are whole forests of memories to revisit.

Questions are part of the journey, and they are a kind of harvesting too. While I will never capture more than a scrap of the snowy grandeur around me, that is quite all right. These days on the earth are numbered, and so be it. In the warm darkness of my questions and uncertainty, I gather everything in and rejoice.


Tabor said...

Yes and yes.

Caroline Ouellette said...

...a forest of memories... what beautiful words!