There are special days in each year that carve memories, not all real great but most aregreat and worth celebrating. My favorites are Christmas, birthdays, anniversaries, Solstices, Equinoxes, and on and on. But, every year the real winner in my book is that awaited day that usually comes sometime in the Fall, after the rains have come, the temperature drops, we’re socked in for a couple of days – and then the clouds lift. Bam! There on the horizon the most stunning gift of nature looms. Brilliant, white with snow, and beautiful beyond thought are the four mountains that seem to keep watch over the foothills and towns below.
This year Christmas decorating took back stage to the cleaning/showing routine I’ve fallen in to. Our house remains UNsold, although it showed last week for the 31st time. No greens or reds or Christmas colors can be found inside, but that which nature is offering OUTSIDE cannot be outdone. Yesterday as the sun was setting I discovered just outside my window a beautiful flocked tree with tiny lights nestled amongst its branches.
This morning as the sun came up over the ridge, there is was more flocking and my tree gleamed brilliant with new light.
I posted this poem last Fall, but it’s one of my favorites:
She celebrated the sacrament of letting go.
Then orange, yellow and red, Finally she let go of her brown.
Shedding her last leaf she watched its journey to the ground.
She stood in silence wearing the color of emptiness
Her branches wondering how do you give shadow with so much gone.
She stood empty and silent stripped bare leaning against the winter sky.
She began her vigil of trust
And then the sacrament of waiting began.”
Winter is the season I “wait” for each year, anticipating the peace, surprise, and absolute beauty of snow all around, on the ground, in the trees, flakes falling through the cold skies. Thanksgiving in the past marked the first day of skiing on the mountain. It still does for the younger part of my family, but now, a bit older and a whole lot more cautious, I’m blessed with “slow beauty” – or cross country skiing. Isabella and I venture out daily, she wearing bear feet and I my skis, to feel the blessing of all that is in and all around. I’m thankful for the quiet of winter and “trust” that the snows are here to stay. A fire in the wood stove, holiday lights inside and out, a blanket and a good book to end the day is what I have? (Just read “Lab Girl” – so good and funny – and now “Boys in the Boat” – well written.) Thank you all for being but, yet, one more blessing that I can give thanks for.
Wishing everyone a Thanksgiving filled with love, kindness, wellbeing, and warmth – the warmth part is for those who prefer temperatures that would melt snow.
Usually I take my dog for a walk. That means I lead. Today I let her take me. I followed her up through a valley of snow laden trees and along the edge of a small stream hidden under its banks. Most the time Isabella, my dog, was out of sight and I tracked her by her prints in the snow. Interestingly there were a second set of paw prints fresh amongst hers. This is not unusual, except that there was not another owner in sight. Hum! Could it have been a coyote?