Friday, February 09, 2024

Friday Ramble - The Sisterhood of Eye and Leaf

Little things leave you feeling restless in February. You prowl through stacks of gardening catalogues, planning 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 the depths of each and every mug.

You play with filters, apertures and shutter speeds, entranced (and occasionally irritated) by the surprising transformations wrought by your madcap gypsy tinkering. 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 a cold 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 about to raise another comely brood. The couple have been returning to the same nursery for years. It will not be long until there is another family of baby hornies in the woods, and it makes me happy to think it is happening again.  

This morning, a solitary oak leaf was teased into flight by the north wind and came to rest in a sunlit corner of the garden. A trifling thing perhaps, but the pairing of golden leaf and blue snow was fetching stuff indeed. 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 such small, mundane and ice rimed doings, an ardent life is made.

1 comment: said...

Beautiful, Cate. Reading this is an inspiring way to begin my day.