icebound on the shore
winter gathers round itself
blackbirds swell and rise
Little birds — sparrows, juncos, chickadees — dance at the feeder, filling their bellies. A red-tailed hawk hides in the trees at the back of the pond, waiting patiently as snow and wind whirl and howl. I wonder if he is contemplating the animal tracks in the snow and on the ice, hoping to manifest breakfast. Pema Chödrön said, “Give up all hope of fruition,” because hope robs us of the present moment. The hawk abandons hope and swoops. Breakfast has arrived.
a fall transition
We had our first hint of winter yesterday. It was mitten weather, cold and damp after a week with the remnants of Sandy swirling wind, gray clouds, and rain showers over the area. The lake effect machine (Lake Erie in the north) was turned on, bringing rain at first. Big, fat snowflakes joined in, reminding us that winter weather will soon take over.
blown about by the North Wind
the tang of woodsmoke
drifts in and out
black polka dots overhead
meandering across a drab gray sky
mobs of snowflakes arrive
silently rioting and gathering
in patches and drifts
the blue jay in the woods
in a counter-demonstration
A small stone for a snowy Day 28. Boreas, in Greek mythology, was the purple-winged god of the north wind and winter. I’m far from Greece, but can’t seem to find a North American equivalent.
Fresh snow accumulated overnight, redrawing the lines of the landscape. The birds gather around the feeder, some on the ground scratching for fallen seeds buried in the snow. A red-tailed hawk perches on a high branch in a tree at the edge of the meadow, watching. Waiting. A fine white powder, barely visible, is being squeezed and sifted from the clouds overhead, falling softly, silently, in a straight line from sky to ground. The air is still. The raspy screech of another hawk somewhere off in the distance is carried across the hills and the pond.
I wonder why all the birds don’t fly south to escape the cold and snow, leaving us birdless for a season.
What do I want to take home from my summer vacation? Time. The wonderful luxury of being at rest. The days when you shut down the mental machinery that keeps life on track and let life simply wander. The days when you stop planning, analyzing, thinking and just are. Summer is my period of grace.
~ Ellen Goodman
(I will be cross posting this at Life in the Bogs today as it seems to fit both blogs. It should also be noted that this bird may well be the same playful bird pictured in an earlier post but he showed up at a different spot on a different day.)
Playfully you hid from me.
All day I looked.
Then I discovered
I was you,
and the celebration
of That began.
~ Lalla (India)
About a month or two ago I was flipping through Yoga Journal magazine. I think it was the June issue but don’t hold me to that as I no longer have the copy to check. I came across the poem quoted above as part of a review of the book Mala of the Heart: 108 Sacred Poems. I had an almost immediate and interesting inner reaction to it. It was as if someone opened a window in my soul, letting in a strong breeze and a bright light.
It is a difficult thing to describe. It was a lot like looking at a breathtaking sunrise or sunset and suddenly, briefly, feeling a connectedness to everything.
From time to time I would think about it as I meditated. It came to mind again when we were at the Lake Irene trail head in Rocky Mountain National Park and I saw a bird flitting around playfully in a pine tree, almost inviting me to follow as it hopped from branch to branch, peering out every now and then in a game of hide-and-seek.
I bought a copy of the book just before we set out on our trip to Colorado. I haven’t had a chance to do much more than flip through it to look for the exact wording of Lalla’s poem. I’m looking forward to reading more, and the journeys and adventures that might bring.