On Snow Events and Wonder

So fellow travelers, hush….listen

 

can you hear it?

 

Uh huh,  that is the legendary “sound of silence.”

I’m not sure it’s what Simon and Garfunkle had in mind when they penned their iconic song, but anyone who lives in deep snow country knows it and it is what I woke to this morning after hours and hours of constant snow.  Sixty-six hours for anyone keeping track, which of course the airport weather station does for us.

66 hours and 19.5 inches later our yard is an arctic landscape, minus the glaciers, although if our sub zero windchills continue those may be coming soon. Stay tuned.

Lake Effect bands like this are common here. Unlike Winter Storm Grayson which blustered up the East coast earlier this week they are a not product of specific low pressure systems, but the result of several conditions (cold dry air, open waters of Lake Erie and Lake Ontario, shifting winds) which combine to create streams of snowfall over areas of Upstate New York.  Our weather teams don’t refer to them as “storms,” they call them “events.”

How feastive!

I suspect it will be a while before I can put away the outdoor Christmas decorations.

It’s been a while since we had such a severe start to a winter season. Favorite Youngest Daughter commented it’s the first white Christmas we’ve had in a while. Oh we always get snow well before Christmas, but in recent years it seems it melted right before we most wanted it. Not so this year, in fact winter is ramping up to be one long, brain freezing endurance test.

So, if Old Man Winter is laying down the challenge, I’m determined to summit those wind driven snow drifts and seek wonder wherever I can.

Like the quiet “chip!chip!” outside my kitchen window,

drawing my attention to a flash of red, revealing a brave yard resident reminding me to check the feeders,

where little tracks are my thankful reminder not only birds are counting on me

and a burst of early morning color shines with anticipation for the coming year.

Dawn comes silenced winds

leave glistening gems of Light

Pause Wonder Breathe Be

 

Walk gently on the path my friends and may adventure find you ready.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Zen Moment: Deep Freeze Sunrise 

So fellow travelers,  a deep cold  snap has settled over our humble home.

My little pond has become a skating rink for the resident squirrels who slide across the surface to drink from little pool which forms around the heated aerators. Below the ice, fish sleep suspended in hibernation until Spring.

Last night when howling winds woke me I thought I was hearing voices singing. The clock showed just past 3am but no ghosts of Christmases past, present or future appeared. Still the eerie chorus must have echoed in my sleep, strange images swirled in my dreams until dawn, fueled a bit by the dynamics of  processing the stress from the last month at work and balancing the logistics of family gatherings throughout the holidays.

I’ve been feeling the impact of some personal losses this season too so when I caught the radiant light of sunrise this morning it stirred a desperate longing for peace giving words to this haiku styled prayer.

 

I want to believe

In every sunrise promise

Dig deeper for faith

Breathe in reach for hope

Deep in my soul I know each of us will find our way forward through challenging times.  We have strong bonds of love woven by family and friends near and far. A new year is coming and although it is “just a flip of a page on the calendar,” as someone rather jaded recently pointed out, for me at least it is still a chance to review our direction and reset our course as needed.

The glowing Light of sunrise is my daily reminder every day brings the hope and promise of  a new beginning.  I will greet this coming year holding strong in my resolve to believe the journey always brings us to where we belong.

 

 

Walk gently on the path my friends and may adventure find you ready.

 

 

Christmas 2017

So fellow travelers, the last of our Candle Night lights has been lit.

Christmas Day has come.

Beautifully wrapped gifts from my dear friend Lisa.

There will be gifts and greetings shared with family near and far. We will linger over hearty meals and hugs. Thanks to the technology  of Skype we will be together with all our kids for a little while later today.

Outside winter winds howl and lake effect snow adds more and more inches to the holiday card scenes in my yard but no weather can lessen the warmth and Light of the joy in my heart on this blessed morning.

Treasured ornaments

Lifelong memories shine bright

Bringing peace and joy

Walk gently on the path my friends and may blessings of the season go always with you.

Winter Solstice Reflection

So fellow travelers, its easy to lose ones bearings when navigating the maze of life….so many twists and turns, too many conflicting directives and confusing maps which lead us everywhere but where we truly need to be. Yet all we need to find our way back to our true path is just a glimpse of light.

 

You have wandered so long

misguided by trail markers and maps meant for others

when darkness heightens awareness of how far off path you meandered 

you had forgotten you are lost 

until a distant glimmer of light beckons you home.

 

 

 

 

As long we have someone who dares enough to hold love in their hearts for us there is always hope we will find our way.

Walk gently on the path my friends, blessings of the solstice be with you all


Zen Moment: Sunset Calls

So fellow travelers, it is sunny and 53° (F)  outside today.

It’s also December 3rd.

About two weeks ago when a deep plunge in temperatures brought an early round of Lake Effect snow, the garden around the edge of my pond took on an early air of Christmas decor.

Today, I spent most of the day clearing out the remnants of the prolonged garden season and tending to a little bonfire in the backyard fire pit where I was burning off the piles of yard debris and many branches which had come down during recent windy days.

All around me, little birds chattered at a few lingering blue jays demanding their turn at the feeders I filled just this morning.  Every now and then the nasal “hwonk hwonk” of our resident nuthatch could be heard as it dug into the fresh suet I’d also put out. As temperatures have begun to dip down to freezing most nights, I’m mindful of keeping the feeders stocked with sunflower seeds and suet to provide good energy to help my feathered tenants and visitors refuel after the long cold nights.

Days end so quickly now, as the Solstice approaches, that I am often caught off guard when shades of pink, gold and purple begin to tint the drifting clouds overhead.  Today, when I caught the firstglimpse of color I jumped in my Rav and dashed down the road to a field where I knew I would catch a clear view of the setting sun . I was rewarded with this image.

After getting a few photos, I sat in my car and watched the sun sink below the treeline, painting a thin red orange line of light along the horizon.  For the first time in several days I felt completely in the moment and totally at peace.

I’ve reached that point of the work year where I am feeling the full impact from the loss of the daily writing time my summer break allows me to follow.  I’ve been struggling with a few different pieces of writing for a few weeks, pushing myself to finish something I felt was post worthy, but whatever I was trying to say was encumbered by undefined purpose and heavy emotions. As I drove home with the zen of this moment still wrapped around me like a forgiving hug, I gave myself permission to simply sit down and write about this and leave the other pieces be.  In time they will either coalesce or not.

Meanwhile, I will be more mindful of being present in the simple moments of joy, reminding myself they matter more than the “shoulds” on the “get done” list I might impose on myself.  Which reminds me the last full moon of the year is about to rise.  I’ve got some more joy to fit in before this day is done.

moon edit

Walk gently on the path my friends and may adventure find you ready.

 

 

 

 

Jack’s Lament

So fellow travelers, early Lake Effect snow has brought a chilling end to a luxuriously warm Autumn.

Snow dusted leaves linger in the trees and the last of my wildflowers have turned into frozen mush from the sudden killing frost which preceded the cold front.

My porch Jack O Lantern looked a bit mournful when I came to put him away.

 

 

 

Oh Jacko cry not

Seasons come and seasons go  

Autumn will return

 

 

 

 

 

Walk gently on the path my friends and may adventure find you ready.

Autumn Zinnias

via Daily Prompt: Gratitude

So fellow travelers, today’s blog prompt from WordPress is Gratitude.

With a forecast for heavy winds, rain and plummeting temps I knew the flowers still lingering in my garden were better cut and brought inside to enjoy than left to the elements.

 

 

Gratitude today

Is gathering zinnias

So late in autumn

 

 It’s a rare treat to even have flowers so late in the season.

The zinnias greeted me cheerfully on my kitchen table this morning as wind and rain sent leaves scattering all through the yard. One last breath of summer to be grateful for.

 

 

 

Walk gently on the path my friends and may adventure find you ready.



Mountain Magic

So fellow travelers, I woke this morning to the booming echo of Big Black Dog woofs ricocheting through snow dusted trees.


Peering through the frost lined window I can just make out the solid profile of Mt Monandnock against a pearl dawn sky.

I scrunch deeper into layered warmth of red and green comforters and watch the light change.

Downstairs I hear the rattle of kibble filling dog bowls and the happy tap dance of my friend Kate’s Big Black Dogs.

Listening closely I heard words from the distant Mountain.

Stand tall touch the sky

 Mountain magic steady strong

Stars of hope shine bright.

As I approach this winter season I find myself seeking something deep and elusive. I know not what it is,

not yet

While I search I will gratefully gather all the threads of Light I can find in good faith they will weave a strong braid of hope for the coming year.

Mt. Monandnock making magic with the Grandmother Moon.

Walk gently on the path my friends and may adventure find you ready.

Morning Flyover

So fellow travelers,  I’ve been enjoying the morning light while I have it.

image

In a few days, daylight savings time will spring forward, kicking my morning routine back into darkness.  Nevermind. The symphony of spring adds new voices every day and I am grateful to be up and out early enough to hear them.

The call of geese is a signature sound of the changing seasons. Today several flocks flew through our skies and these words sprang up.

Calls echo Look Up!
Dotted line flies overhead
Racing through to Spring

image

Sacred moments I’m grateful to have anytime light or dark.

Walk gently on the path my friends and may adventure find you ready.

December Dandelion

So fellow travelers,  we here in Upstate NY are living in a Strange New World. It’s a world where temperatures are in the 60’s and Christmas lights cast their colorful glitter across lawns of green grass. We bask some what uneasily under snowless skies, shooting furtive glances at the lavendar clouds, convinced Lake Effect will descend at any time.

“We’re gonna pay for this later you know,” is a frequent comment I hear from my colleagues and neighbors. Really?  As if Mother Nature keeps some sort of balance sheet on which we owe her a tremendous debt for this gift of unseasonably warm weather. Hey, if is there is a balance sheet, I dare say we might have some credit due on our end to compensate for the brutal winter we survived earlier this year.

I have a different perspective; I simply accept the fact our weather is what it is. I am grateful for the good days, dress in layers for all other times and keep walking dogs through all of it. Which is how Delilah and I came upon this little pop of joy as we headed out yesterday evening. “Oh! A December Dandelion,” I exclaimed as she sniffed curiously at the flower which boldly defied the calendar.  The phrase wove itself into this haiku.

December Dandelion

Snow less skies green grass

December dandelions

Strange gifts this season

dandelion

Walk gently on the path my friends and may adventure find you ready.