Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Haiku for a friend

Lady riding hood
Toting more than just cookies
through the woods to Gram's

A song, a story,
Generosity displayed.
Tea party legacy.

A snow white quilt,
A pink veil, a red ruby.
Mother and daughter.

Friday, January 24, 2014


Today has been frigid. The thermometer read zero upon my rising this morning, and I believe it didn't get much out of the teens this afternoon. Tonight was cold enough that my walk home (from the blacktop-the driveway being too icy to drive) caused my face to sting and feel frozen still into a serious face expression. Lately my existence here at home has seemed very solitary, what with my week of self-quarantine with the flu and the snowy and icy weather that inhibits ease of comings and goings to the house. When I am holed up inside, cozying up to the woodstove next to the snoring hound dog, it is all too quickly that I lose perspective about my place in the scheme of things out here in this sweet little tucked away watershed.
I need simply to step outside to fetch another armload of logs for my reminder that I am very much not alone here.
Last night on my walk home I was startled by the white flash of a deer's tail, immediately followed by the scurrying crunch of hooves in the snow.
This morning, when it was zero, I was greeted by the sweet four-toned melody of one brave chickadee. It sounded like springtime, and the heart was warmed.
Tonight my lullaby is a handful of coyotes howling under the cold, clear starry display of night sky- their cries like souls from the Otherworld, a perfect soundtrack for mid-winter dreaming.

Here directly I will feed the fire one last time and head up to slumber, grateful for all my neighbors. I hope they stay warm enough tonight.

Monday, January 6, 2014


ephiphany: 1. Epiphany- A Christian feast celebrating the manifestation of the divine nature of Jesus of the Gentiles as represented by the Magi, traditionally observed on January 6. 2. A revelatory manifestation of a divine being. 3a. A sudden manifestation of the essence or meaning of something. b. A comprehension or perception of reality by means of a sudden intuitive realization.

                                    (American Heritage College Dictionary)

Midnight approaches on this day of the Epiphany. According to my thermometer, the record low for Janury 6th has been reached. As I go to bed it is -1 (F). I spent the weekend creating worst-case scenario plans for my family for severe winter weather and brutal cold. I will not lie; there were some above-average anxiety levels involved. However, as RM so eloquently put it today, perhaps anxiety in the face of dangerous weather is an example of anxiety serving its best purpose. Maybe the marriage of my primal animal instincts and my human ability to plan complex strategies is a beautiful thing, and, more importantly, could be highly useful if the power were to go out when the temperatures are below zero and the wind is raging. Maybe there is a fine line between neurotic thinking and smart thinking.

Today, I spent the "warm" hours of the day getting the pipes and the plant nursery ready for the burly night. When all plants were tucked in the greenhouse and the crawl space was closed up and heated and there was a beefy supply of firewood stacked on the porch and all the necessary hollerhood faucets were trickling, I retired to my delightfully warm, wood-heated house and revelled in the comfort. Believing all the bases were covered, my mind was free to wander back through my small but potent memory bank of the handful of other times I have met zero or sub-zero temperatures. Extreme weather experiences form colonies of vivid memories which perhaps dwell in the part of the brain reserved for personal epiphanies... ...Hearts awakening. Lungs pierced by the clear sharpness of the cold. Legs running. Sparks flying when steel hits steel. Full moon casting ethereal tones of blue and white over Shenandoah mountains and valleys. Somewhere in middle America a fire burns a tipi to the ground. Hearts breaking. Horses drawing a carriage face the New England wind. Red sun ascends like our Lord rising over Swiss Alps, its light casting red glowing diamonds over a sea of ice. Sleepless eyes enlivened. A scintilla of hope finds its way through the phone lines.