Tuesday, November 08, 2022

Seventeen Years and Onward

On Sunday morning, clocks in the little blue house in the village turned back an hour, and Daylight Saving Time waved goodbye until next year. Its departure marked the end of gardening and gathering, but it also marked seventeen years of blogging, and I like the fact that the two events are aligned.

For seventeen years, I have logged on here every morning and posted an image or two. Sometimes I managed to put together a few paragraphs to go along with the visual "stuff", and occasionally I spilled my cuppa on the keyboard. I can't believe I had the cheek to set this "book of days" up in the first place, let alone do the blogging thing faithfully for seventeen years in a row. Once in a while, I am OK with my efforts, but mostly I am not. When I look at stuff I posted here years ago, I am appalled. Yuck.

However lacking they are, and they are certainly that, these are my morning (or artist) pages, and chances are they will remain pretty much as they are in the coming year. There may be a bit of font and banner tinkering now and again, but that is all. I don't foresee any significant changes to this place, and I expect blogging life will simply go on as it has been doing so far, photos and scribblings and bits of poetry.

In late November of 2019, my soulmate passed away after a fierce and "no holds barred" battle with pancreatic cancer, and life without him is rough going. I can't even begin to express how much I loved the man (and still do), how much I miss his steady presence in my life, every single day. Within a few months of Irv's passing, other dear friends also passed away from cancer, and I miss them too.

I am still coping with the side effects of my own tussle with cancer, and most of the time, I feel I am just clinging to the wreckage and paddling frantically to stay afloat, but I give thanks for my tribe and darling Beau, for wild kin, sisters of the heart, good neighbors and friends. I could not have gotten here without them, without all of you.

Big life stuff notwithstanding, it's all right to be here and wrapped up in the doings of what I like to call "the Great Round". Beau and I stay busy, and we go rambling with a notebook and camera every day and in all weathers. Sometimes, I just tuck the Samsung S21 cell phone in my pocket, and off we go, our collars turned up against the wind.

We wander along at our own pace, conversing with the great maples and beech mothers, watching leaves dance in the autumn woods, feasting our eyes on the sun going down like a ball of fire over the river, on skies alight with winter stars and lustrous moons that seem almost close enough to reach up and touch. My departed love is always with us in spirit, resting easy in the pocket of my tatty old jacket - he loved rambling and was usually the first person out the door.

The road goes ever on, and there is magic everywhere if we have the eyes to see it, the wits to acknowledge it, the grace and humility and plain old human decency to show respect and say thank you. The small adventures of our journeying will continue to make their way here and get spilled out on the computer screen mornings with a bad photo or two and a whole rucksack of wonder. The world is an achingly beautiful place, and I am starting to realize that sometimes an image says everything that needs to be said, all by itself, no words needed from this Old Thing. Mary Oliver said it best:

The years to come – this is a promise –
will grant you ample time

to try the difficult steps in the empire of thought
where you seek for the shining proofs you think you must have.

But nothing you ever understand will be sweeter, or more binding,
than this deep affinity between your eyes and the world.

(excerpt from Terns)

In another poem called It Was Early, she wrote that sometimes one needs only to stand wherever she is to be blessed, and that is something I keep in mind as Beau and I are tottering along together. Thank you for your kind thoughts and healing energies, your comments and cards and letters, for journeying along with me this year. You are treasured more than you know, and if my fingers were working, I would write each and every one of you. Alas, they are not. Be well, my friends. Be peaceable. Be happy.


Barbara Rogers said...

Congrats to you. A good 17 years. I don't know when I came upon your beautiful photos and sweet poignant words, but I appreciated them every day. You paint with words as well as lens. Thank you from my heart!

Marti said...

How do you thank someone who for seventeen years, has shared her life, her corner of the world with such depth, spirit and caring...well, you come from out of the shadows and simply say Thank you dear Cate. I have read you daily for many years but have only commented once in a while. Your ability to SEE the joy and beauty of our world and give them to us in photos; your capacity to deeply share life's moments, bittersweet, joyous and sad, written in deeply heartfelt words; your opening the gate for us to walk through and enter Beyond the Fields We Know is such a gift for it connects all of us in immeasurable ways.

Anonymous said...

Your daily blog is an inspiration, a daily reminder of what matters and an injection of beauty. Thank you dear!

Anonymous said...

It’s me, Lilian, I don’t know why I’m unknown lol

Cindy R said...

I've come here each day for many years, always grateful for the beauty and wisdom you offer through all the ups and downs of your life and of our life together on this beautiful suffering earth. Deep bows of gratitude.

Belle said...

I'm a long time reader, and this is the first thing I look at every weekday morning.

Love, love your wanderings and photos and thoughts. (The star anise shots are a fave :)

And Happy Blogaversary!

Dee said...

Seventeen wonderful years! Thank you so much for staying the course. Your blog posts and pictures have inspired and delighted me every morning. I haven't the words to convey what a gift your offerings have been to me. Thank you.

Mystic Meandering said...

Me too! Have loved reading your inspiring posts for the past 13 years :)

I especially liked these words that you wrote today:"The road goes ever on, and there is magic everywhere - if we have the eyes to see." I love the beauty you show us... _/\_

Regina M. said...

Congratulations on your blog anniversary! Thank you for sharing your beautiful thoughts today. I feel very fortunate to have found your blog. The breathtaking photos and soulful writing have improved my life. I too have dealt with cancer and the loss of my oldest, dearest friends. Nature has always been my healing. Your photos and words are the first thing I look forward to seeing while I sip my cup of coffee each morning. So - thank you so very, very much for sharing. All good wishes to you in the upcoming years.

Pienosole said...

I somehow just read this post this morning. I too am grateful for your words, your photos, and your sharing. Thank you! 🙏🏻❤️

Tabor said...

WOw, 1 years. I it is a journal and not the Great American NOvel, so be gentle on yourself. I am thinking some relative in the future may find this all very interesting if not important

kerrdelune said...

It certainly is not the great American novel, Tabor, and not even the great Canadian novel. Just a bunch of words strung together.