How much influence has the “now” factor had on your life? When would you like it to happen? Those two sentences were jotted down at some point as a moment of inspiration or potential for this column. I wonder where my head was at when I wrote that? Now, I have no idea. How times and circumstances alter cases.
Recently I’ve been very sensitive to the immediacy of everything online, the way in which exponential increases in computing capacity and speed have overrun into the rest of life and how little patience any of us – myself I guess, since I’m the only person I really know when I’m rambling on like this – have these days. With anything. Most notably myself. (insert appropriate emoticon here)
And on a completely different note. I am thrilled by the changing season. Sunday February 28 I stood on my deck and then sat down on it. It was gorgeous. Warm andsunnyanddelicious,despiteafootof snow on the ground just below. Blessed with great weather for hanging out in the garden listening to the birds sing and watching their never-ending free entertainment. I highly recommend it.
A week or so of Chinooky thaw later… walking in sunshine along the erratically eroding cliffs of sedimentary layers formed by a winter’s plough-slung snow. Strata defined by fine lines of grit, oily residue from a particularly interesting freeze-thaw-big-truck-passing cycle, pristine snow crystals, granular, solid, all packed so hard we can clamber all over these temporary geological morphlets.
I alternate my perambulation this afternoon between scrambling along a steep bank where accumulated snow hugs contours and lies thick over fallen trees to disguise and surprise. I step on the surface and walk across a tightrope of uncertain length, random patches of light and shade reflect or mask the depth or strength of the freeze beneath making for an interesting stumbling gait as I sink up to my knees in places. I hang onto the slenderest tree branches for support as I pass. One tall poplar shivers and shifts as I wrap my fingers around its narrow waist, I prop it back into position so it may fall fully when the next significant breeze finds its way through there.
Climbing up a slope into and through the pools of light, I follow the snow’s edges where the reveal of winter grass and desiccated leaves form percussive orchestras beneath the trees. I sit below the spread branches of a spruce, wondering whose pad I am invading right now. Deer tracks, relatively fresh, have led me to this place. I watch the gold orb hanging in the western sky, beaming heat straight at me, partially obscured by the tall spruce marching up the westward slope beyond me to cut off the warmth of the setting sun. I imagine sweeping the tops of trees away to open a swathe of pure light across this second hill, but the light as it is, filtered and transfigured by its journey, is perfect.
Further into the valley, the opening of the slopes forms a cradle for the sunlight to roll in and play for hours. I walk with random thoughts colliding and not so random footfalls pushing the road behind me pace by pace. At a certain point I turn to retrace my steps, stripping layers as this valley’s warmth seeps deep through me. Hat gone, jacket off, next layer doffed… it’s a beautiful spring day, the birds are singing joyously, the ground is beginning to warm after that recent deep-freeze doled out a good dose of winter.
Then I reach the foot of the hill, the trees rise up around me with their dour expressions of forbidding indifference, the temperature plummets in the space of a stride and I find myself fully clad once more. Dramatic changes, even prodding myself to maintain pace uphill, the deep-freeze has done its work here. It will take more than this afternoon’s sunshine to thaw us out for real.
We move forward into Spring with new hope and blooming ideas. Looking forward to seeing more of you!
With gratitude and love,
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