Winter in All Its Glorious Forms

I have not written in December because I’ve been outside in the woods, through temperatures high and low, winds calm and raucous, days shortening and, just recently, beginning again to grow. That intoxicating slant of winter light drags me outside before I’ve even finished my first cup of tea and again in the afternoon when I should be staying glued to my screen for another hour.

Recently, there was a cold spell. A period of below freezing temperatures for several days in a row, unlike we’d experienced for many years, it seems. I did my best to thaw the birdbaths a couple times a day to save the birds from having to fly to the creek to drink (knowing they had to conserve energy), and I put birdseed out in more places and types of feeders than ever before. And, of course, the goats had to be fed twice daily instead of once, have warm water added to their plug-in buckets (which keep water just above freezing, but not warm enough to entice them to avoid dehydration), as they munched through the hay in their net and racks at three times the usual rate. The extra outdoor work was worth it, though, for the chance to see ice art at the creeks!

No way can I stay inside long enough to do any decent writing, so I’ve posted these photos (I’m too entranced by the woods, though, to even photograph anything properly..); and I’ll insert a poem from a few years back, though it requires a windy day and large white pines to picture it, something I don’t have in my photo gallery, sadly. So just imagine.

Wind and the White Pine Tree

It’s just another one of those days,

another one of those windy days like so many others you’ve stood through.

And so you just trust to your internal structure,

to the joinings with neighbors below and above ground,

and ride out the whims of the wind.

Perhaps all will calm and you’ll still be standing, mostly whole and able to grow on.

It’s in your DNA: this knowing what to do, what you can do, and when to do nothing.

But there’s more to it than that.

What I see is your motion inside the wind:

your branches dance,

along with the other trees’ branches powered by invisible air,

and grace comes from how you bend to it, then stand again,

as if you knew the swaying beauty your shape draws against the sky,

as if your normal stance wasn’t stillness.

What I hear is your voice on the air:

a song of friction, of gravity, made of the breath we all breathe.

And all at once I feel a part of the push and pull of everything.

Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.