Saturday, January 26, 2008

Winter Finally

It’s great for it to be cold at last. The folks up north might not agree but around here, nights in the teens and days in the thirties are about the coldest cold we see. And the snow was a really welcome sight. Not the covering white blanket I had hoped for but still it was lovely to wake up the other morning and look out into the woods lit white and gray by snow covered branches, hear the sound of dripping water coming down. The tops of the big pines with globby white hats sitting on top of their bows, catching the first rays of morning sunlight, the green and bright white against the clear blue sky, just stunning.

I love the cold because it forces me inside most of the day to concentrate and work on indoor pleasures, reading, writing, and cooking. But I also relish walking outside when the air is so crisp and clear, everything is sharp against that bluest of blue skies, the winter air invigorates me, 360 from the thick hazy air of summer, when the heat and humidity make me want to die.

Down at the creek the other day I could hear the sound of chain saws and chickens clucking, dogs barking and distant traffic. They just logged 100 acres or more between the creek and Calvander so it is only a matter of time before they fill that space with houses just like every other space around Chapel Hill and Carrboro and not long after that more and more people will begin to appear along the creek paths, desperately eager for a taste of nature- a moment in the wild. I hope the creek keeps flowing for all our sakes. And that the traffic of people and dogs and kids won’t get so heavy that it begins to take a toll on the creek banks and woods.

Another day last week I sat for a long time staring out at the pond, watching the light and patterns change on the surface of the water from the wind, clouds floating by, the sun getting low, the clouds in the west were starting to pinken, then go peachy, blue sky between them reflecting in the rippling water.

I thought wow- just to stop, just stop, stop moving, stop thinking, just meditate on that water and sky, you don’t need anything else. Why can’t I just take this time to be? 8 months of freedom and I still can’t let a pretty day go by and not get out in it, just like I still sleep late sometimes 9 or 10 hours in bed, because I can, because I spent so many years inside when I wanted to be outside, sleep deprived and hungry for the rest.

Kahlil Gibran said “Forget not that the earth likes to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair” Forget not indeed.

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