Wednesday, November 08, 2023

Eighteen 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 eighteen years of blogging, and I like the fact that the two events are aligned after a fashion.

It seems fitting that the Beech Mother should make an appearance at the top of this morning's post. For many years, we (Beau and I) have passed through her grove on our early morning walks, and we greet her and give her a pat whenever we do. She is beautiful in all seasons but particularly in late autumn and early winter.

For eighteen years, I have been logging on here every morning and posting an image or two. Sometimes I manage a few paragraphs to go along with the visual "stuff", and occasionally I spill my cuppa on the keyboard. I am still astonished that I had the cheek to set this "book of days" up in the first place, let alone do the blogging thing faithfully for eighteen 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 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 still rough going. I can't even begin to express how much I loved the man (and still do), how much I miss his loving, steadfast presence in my life. 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. Most of the time, I feel as though I am just clinging to the wreckage and paddling frantically to stay afloat, but I keep going. I give thanks for my tribe and Beau, for wild kin and trees, for sisters of the heart, good neighbors and friends. I could not have gotten here without all of you.

Big life stuff notwithstanding, it's all right to be here and wrapped up in the toings and froings of what I call "the Great Round". Beau and I stay busy, and we go rambling every day and in all weathers. Sometimes, I just tuck the 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 moons that seem almost close enough to reach up and touch. My departed love is always with us in spirit, resting warm and easy in the pocket of my tatty old jacket that is closest to my heart - the man loved rambling, and he 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 every morning and get spilled out on the computer screen 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.


Gill said...

Oh my … your exquisite words bring tears to my eyes this morning.
Thank you for taking us along with you on your travels.

“ 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.”

Yes, to know this is to be blessed indeed


Dee said...

I look forward to your words and pictures every morning, such a beautiful way to start my day!
Thank you. Be blessed. Be safe and well, both you and Beau.

elzbeth said...

I too look forward to your words every morning. Thank you for the words of wisdom, of peace, and of love.

Barbara Rogers said...

A big congratulations to you for accomplishing this daily blog journal. I don't know how long I've been reading it least 14-15 years at a guess. Thank you. Your steadfastness, your eye that captures the simple beauty around you, and your prose that sometimes just bleeds over to poetry...all are much appreciated!

Rags Edward said...

I can't tell yu how much I look forward to your scribblings and your beautiful images. I am so grateful to you for dding a bit of beauty to my day!

Dee said...

Lovely! I look forward to your writing and photos every morning. It's a good start to my day. Thanks for putting your images and words out there, and congratulations on your anniversary.

Maggie Emm said...

Yep, still here amongst the beauty, glad you are too! Much love, Maggie

Pienosole said...

Congratulations! And thank you. I too look forward to reading and seeing your awe-inspiring posts and photos. ❤️🙏🏻☀️

Cindy R said...

Your words, your photos, your beautiful and wise spirit are a treasured part of my day and a gift to our world. Deep bows of gratitude.