Sunday, January 9, 2011

Snowy Day Wanderings

Today I woke to snowy shabbat. By nine o'clock the snow was falling consistently and had beautifully cloaked the city in a white mantle. By 9:30 am I began to get restless and started to debate whether or not a walk in the snow would be helpful. The child that I can be and who loves to play convinced me that it would be criminal to not avail myself of this winter wonderland and I quickly got dressed for the occasion. Once I had assured myself I would not freeze to death I began my trek. I stood outside on the patio for a few minutes taking it all in. It was cold and the snow felt lovely as it fell on me. I was amazed at how very quiet it was, very few cars out and about on this snowy morning, it all felt so surreal. Not even the juncos I had noticed earlier in the bush in front of my home were tittering about.


I started my walk not exactly sure where I was going then quickly deciding I desperately needed to see the woods on a snowy day. It occurred to me that I have never been there in winter and so off I went. The one mile walk seemed so much longer in the snow but I enjoyed every minute of it. The sound of the snow crunching under my boots made me smile and the silent city soothed my mind.

When I finally arrived at the Park I stopped myself. I wanted to really take it all in, soak up the seaonal change and observe all I could. Immediately I heard the titters and chips of birds. I looked up to try and spu them all out. I spotted cardinals, and black capped chickadees busily hopping from brancn to branch. Then I began to hear the tap, tap, tap of what I recongnized as some kind of woddpecker searching for food. I looked in the distance searching in vain for the wood pecker. Suddenly a sentence from the latest Charles deLint novel popped into my head that went something like "folks are always looking down when a whole world is happening right above them". Inspired by that thought I simply truened my eyes to right above me and, as if by magic, I saw the lovely red bellied woodpecker. It was hopping and pecking away at the tree in from of me. Then suddendly I was rewarded further by seeing several red headed woodpeckers! That was really a thrill for me and I was tremendously happy that I had ventured out into the snow.
Photo from dreamstime.com

I decided to continue with my walk and observed the creek still flowing slowly and frozen a bit in parts. I meditated on the ice and the water flowing freely beneath it. How often my own heart has felt this way. I leaned on a nearby tree and in fact embraced it to keep me stable on the snow. As I stood there I began to feel a sense of love, deep love that seemed to warm me from the inside out. Can't really explain it, other than that is simply what I felt.

I took my leave of my new friend tree and walked deeper into the woods. Following the creek I felt so alone and at peace with the woods. I found a place to stand and look and tried to take in every aspect of the woods I could. I had never been there in the winter so the experience was so new and wondrous to me. The silent beauty evoked the same emotions that I feel when I am in Maine. That surprised me a bit, as I was certain I would never feel that way outside of Tsfat or the cabin in Maine. I found another accommodating tree and found myself hugging this one too. Only this time I *felt* the tree and *knew* it. I breathed in the green smell of it's bark and what I had always know logically became heart knowledge. I felt deep love yet once again. The tree was ALIVE! In spite of the snow covered branches, the absence of leaves and the emptiness of the woods, the tree, all of them were very much alive. The woods were sleeping beneath the blanket of snow and this was simply a season. Spring would sooner than I realize make her return and the trees would wake up again.

A season, just like the seasons of my own life. Tears began to fall and prayers began to well up in my heart. I cried out to the Universe, to the Holy One and felt my prayers were being heard. It had been awhile since I felt so free and close to the Divine. It was a blessing indeed!

I found a nearby bench and sat for bit watching the snow fall and thinking to myself. Suddenly the desire to make a snow angel came over me. Silly, I know, and as I debated the wisdom of doing such, I finally gave into my childlike desire and plopped myself in a nearby snow bank. I laughed inwardly and swished my arms and legs back and forth to create my angel. Finally I carefully rose up and admired my creation. Brushing the snow off my coat and clothing, I laughed and tears of joy came again! In the distance I heard children playing and I knew it was time to go home. My heart filled with gratitude I made my way out through the snow and out of the woods.


It is my plan to continue.

"To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven" ~Kohelet Ch.3 v1

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