When the snow is blowing and the wind threatens death by treefall, us mortals retreat to the safety of our hearths, and often, subsequently, into the enigmas of our hearts. Day of the Dead. The in between time. The start of a new season, and, according to some, a new year. Can I still myself enough, by the warmth and safety of my hearth, to listen to the whispers of my heart?
12 inches of freshly fallen snow bequeaths to us a blank canvas, upon which both Life and Death imprint their marks. The bright coal red glow of freshly fallen maple leaves, the gold which is hickory leaves, the sassafras mittens- they all rest upon the white canvas, then slowly melt into it. Their gentle and impermanent imprints are reflective of the very nature of Life itself, making its mark for a brief moment of time, then returning to the the earth and its collective pool of Life-sustaining ingredients. The deer and coyotes leave their tracks, wandering here and there, in search for food and Life. Death begets Life. Hopey uncovers a bloody, half eaten rabbit from the snow on the ridge on Sapling Mountain. I carefully retrace my own imprints when the light lengthens and the wind feels colder and I can feel the beckon of the hearth. A young bear head rots in the snow, skull partially exposed.
Tomorrow the snow will finish melting, and autumn will pick up where it left off when a special kind of Winter intercepted it two nights ago. Tonight the moon rises over the great white blanket and its cold, long glow through the shadowy tree fingers will leave an impression upon our hearts.