Tuesday, January 11, 2022

The Sisterhood of Eye and Leaf

Little things leave you feeling restless in mid January. You ramble through stacks of gardening catalogues, plotting another heritage rose or three, new plots of herbs and heirloom veggies. You spend hours in the kitchen 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 madcap gypsy tinkerings. Camera in your pocket or hanging around your neck, you haunt 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.

On so cold a morning, it seems almost unthinkable, but life affirming change is already on its way. The great horned owls who reside on the Two Hundred Acre Wood are refurbishing their nest in an old oak tree about a mile back in the forest, and they are getting ready to raise another comely brood. The couple have been returning to the same nursery for years. In the spring there will be another family of baby hornies in the woods, and it makes me happy to think it is happening again.

This morning, a single tattered oak leaf was teased into flight by the north wind and came to rest in a corner of the garden. A trifling thing perhaps, but the pairing of golden leaf and blue snow was fetching stuff indeed, and my leaf bore in its poignant wabi sabi simplicity 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, and I belong to it. Out of my small, mundane and ice rimed doings, an ardent, thankful life is made.


Barbara Rogers said...

I'm having the urge to reply...to share this sisterhood that the internet provides, where I don't walk with you in any way but through your words on my screen, as I sit sipping my coffee and warming up the living room. I so appreciate your prose. I am very grateful for blogs, and especially for you. Thank you.

Tabor said...

Our past days were rich with heavy wet snowflakes that bent down the branches of the strongest oak trees. Too cold for me to go outside searching, so I discovered from my windows.