Friday, January 24, 2014

Sculpting a New Landscape

The snow arrived, changing the look out my window.  The angles and designs drawn by the sun playing with the tree branches made for some interesting photo ops.  And I won't lie, it was about 7 degrees when I snapped these, from inside the house!

My days of 'HAVING' to go out in the cold weather are mostly over, so I get the best of both worlds... a warm porch to bask in the sun while admiring the  artistic renderings in my winter garden.

St Francis continues to hold down the fort all winter long, patient saint that he is.  He measures the snowfall, provides the doves and cardinals with a landing perch and I'm quite sure I've seen him chasing a few cats!

This white throated sparrow and several of its friends, came to call while I was taking my photos and, since he was obliging, I took his portrait.  He has lovely yellow markings on his head, in case you are interested.

How lucky am I that we didn't cut these Live-Forevers down in autumn.  They still look quite beautiful if, like me, you enjoy looking at flowers gone to seed.  To me, they resemble found sculptures. (and they feed the birds for most of the winter!)

This white tipped cedar continues to provide the only real green we have in the garden.  It is also a lovely hiding and roosting place for some of the birds who hang around for the snow.

The sun is creeping back, every day a moment or two more daylight and a millimeter or two less shadow.  I am not counting the days to spring though.  This scene in the garden comes only once a year and like the short-lived peonies in spring or the momentary blaze of color in autumn, I add this moment  of grace to my counted blessings.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Early Winter Morning

Skimmia with A Light Dusting of Night Frost 2014

Can it be?  Winter is starting to grow on me!  This morning I saw this lovely soft veil of frost covering everything in the garden.  I grabbed the camera and rushed out to capture it before the sun got high enough to melt it away.

In the late autumn of my life, can it possibly be, that I am falling in love with winter?


Monday, January 6, 2014

Singing the (Winter) Blues

Heckscher State Park After a Snow Storm

They call it a cold snap - when the north wind rides into town with frigid temperatures on its back.  It feels like a slap across the face! 

 We are spoiled where I live since 'winter' usually means temperatures in the 30's. Tomorrow we will be tasting the cold air that many people endure for months in winter!  We are expecting the high temperature to be 11 degrees with lots of wind to make it feel colder.  

I can't do much about it except pull out the warmest coat I own(Thank you, Land's End,) find gloves and a wool hat and bundle up if I dare venture out at all!

Oh and because I'm a poet, I will try hard  to pay attention to the wind's song!

Stay warm!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Embracing 2014

 While the change from one year to the next seems like a good time to take inventory  and try to tweak one's life, the practice of 'making resolutions' bores me, seeming to me like an exercise in futility......the new 'rules' simply  daring me to break them!

I have another, more fruitful practice at this time of year. For the past four years, I have  chosen a word to carry with me through the coming year.  The practice of choosing a word, or rather having a word choose you, dates back many centuries to a time when holy men and women fled into the desert as a way of finding the space and silence they needed to hear God's voice speaking to them from the depths of their own hearts.

Shortly after Christmas, I begin a 12 day meditative practice, offered on line at Abbey of the Arts to assist me in finding a word that will challenge me, stretch me and encourage me to grow during the year.

This year, the word that chose me is 'EMBRACE.'  As soon as it came into my conscious mind, I knew it was my word!

2013 was a challenging year for me.

I had surgery which weakened my body significantly. I have had to accept a slower, weaker body, at least for awhile.

I am watching my mother's painfully slow decline into dementia. Day after day, she is forced to let go of one more bit of the past.

Relationships which I thought would last forever have changed in ways that I have no control over and the grief of letting go colored much of the year.

I found myself dwelling on the idea that to age gracefully, I needed to learn to 'let go.'   Though it sounded good on paper, it was a bit depressing.

As I searched for my word, the idea of embracing all that I have in my life....the many gifts that shower me every moment of the day and night kept returning. It occurred to me that spending a year with the word 'EMBRACE' would lead me to savor these gifts more.  I want to mull over the idea of embracing what IS.

I hope ......

...... to 'EMBRACE' who I am at this moment in body, my mind and my spirit.

..... to 'EMBRACE' the people around me......enjoying every moment with my loved ones, my friends and  everyone I meet especially my beautiful grandchildren.

...... to 'EMBRACE' the gift of poetry and the gift of photography... two of my passions in recent years.

...... to "EMBRACE' the Divine One, the One Who Names The Stars and seek a more intimate relationship with the Creator of this amazing universe.  The older I get the more I realize that  this same Creator of the universe, is the One whose wisdom is whispered  in my heart in the silence of early morning.

...... to 'EMBRACE' the mystery of what the future will hold for me this year, wondering what  unknown challenges I will be called to embrace as the year unfolds.


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