I salute you. I am your friend, and my love for you goes deep.
There is nothing I can give you which you have not already, but there is much, very much, which though I cannot give it, you can take.
No heaven can come to us unless our hearts find rest in today.
No peace lies in the future which is not hidden in this precious little instant.
The gloom of the world is but a shadow. Behind it, yet within our reach is joy. There is radiance and courage in the darkness could we but see; and to see, we have only to look.
Life is so generous a giver, but we, judging its gifts by their coverings, cast them away as ugly or heavy or hard. Remove the covering, and you will find beneath it a living splendor, woven of love, and wisdom, and power. Welcome it, greet it, and you touch the angel’s hand that brings it.
Everything we call a trial, a sorrow, a duty, believe me, that angel’s hand is there, the gift is there, and the wonder of an overshadowing Presence.
Our joys, too, be not content with them as joys. They, too, conceal diviner gifts.
Life is so full of meaning and purpose, so full of beauty beneath its covering, that you will find earth but cloaks your heaven.
Courage, then, to claim it, that is all! But courage you have, and the knowledge that we are pilgrims wending through unknown country our way home.
~ Letter to a friend written by Italian friar and painter
Giovanni da Fiesole, known as Fra Angelico, 1387-1455
Last year I began to participate in the #12daysofnatureomens, for fun and awareness (to be more aware of what was going on around me first thing in the morning). Somewhere along the way, I gave up. That probably had more to do with not wanting to blog every day than it did with looking and being aware of what’s around me. It might have also been related to the lack of space on my computer for my photos. Many a photography or blogging project has faded without finishing due to a lack of space. That problem has been solved. For now. We’ll see how fast I can fill up the new hard drive. M says it won’t happen. I say, “Wait and see.”
Each of the omens corresponds to the months of the year. So, one is January, two is February, three is March, and so on and so forth. As signs, signals, and omens go, nature is as good a place to look as any. I’ve noticed that this year there are a lot of folks looking for signs and omens in a variety of ways. One writer, Judy Reeves, is doing Bibliomancy Readings. I was tempted to join in because I love books and there is no shortage of them in my home. Then I decided I’d like to go with nature again, mostly because winter is my favorite time of year to be out and about with my camera. We don’t get much snow or ice here, but we do get a variety of wildlife and some amazing sunrises and sunsets.
The meanings in the captions have come from Ted Andrews book, “Animal Speak.” They are not direct quotes. Just bits and pieces. His entries can sometimes be quite long.
Christmas day here on the ranch was a combination of boisterous, quiet, and lovely. We had storms roll through overnight and into the early morning with strong winds (almost hurricane force, they say) and a lot of rain. Three trees tumbled down, all of them cedars. One was in the marsh, one was at the edge of woods and marsh, and one was in the backyard. The backyard tree was already dead. M and I left it because of the birds who seem to enjoy perching in it, especially during the winter months. It’s not far from the feeders and it gets a lot of sunlight. We actually talked about putting it back up, but it’s a very big tree. Much too heavy for us to lift. We will leave it for now. Even in its horizontal position, the birds are still enjoying it.
The storms were not the only source of the boisterousness. We Zoomed with our grandsons very early in the morning, watching as they opened their Christmas gifts. Some of our gifts (the main gifts, in fact) did not arrive in time for Christmas. I did send some backups, just in case, that did arrive on time. They finally got the main package yesterday. We’ll be Zooming again tomorrow morning when they open the package and the gifts. It was a lot of fun watching them dance around the tree on Christmas morning. It was also interesting to note how different the boys are in how they open their gifts. The Little Wookie’s ebullience is physical in nature. You can see him practically shaking with joy and excitement. The Little Peanut, on the other hand, is calm and slow, savoring the unwrapping. Both will sit for a while with their new gift, exploring it, before moving on to the next.
We also spent some time on Zoom with our granddaughters who are older and wiser and not expecting their gifts to arrive via sleigh, reindeer, and a jolly old elf. Unfortunately, the gifts we sent them have still not arrived. I wonder if they will arrive at all. We have had problems in the past with cards and gifts making it to them. I am hoping we’ll hear some good news in that regard today. Because of past problems, we always make sure we have a tracking number for anything we send their way, and it does look like their package is moving closer to them in the USPS system.
One of the highlights and gifts of Christmas morning was listening to my youngest granddaughter play “Blackbird” on her guitar. It’s one of my favorite songs.
Blackbird singing in the dead of night
Take these broken wings and learn to fly
All your life
You were only waiting for this moment to arise
Blackbird singing in the dead of night
Take these sunken eyes and learn to see
All your life
You were only waiting for this moment to be free
~ John Lennon/Paul McCartney
In what turned out to be not much of a (blogging) break, I’ve spent a lot of time outdoors, walking. I’ve been building up mileage again, kind of half-heartedly making another attempt at one million steps in one hundred days. Instead of an actual 10,000 steps/day, I’m allowing myself to average it out. Walk more on some days, less on others. If I get there, I get there. If I don’t, I don’t. At least I’ll be out walking every day and that’s the important thing right now. Winter might be a time for withdrawal, but it’s also a time when we need to get as much sunshine and outdoor time as we can to avoid the seasonal blues. I’m not particularly affected by SAD in the winter months (it hits me in the summer). I think that’s because I do get outside as much as I can, no matter what the weather brings, during the colder seasons. Heat and humidity, on the other hand, tend to keep me indoors.
I have also been getting to know the dark and the night a bit more. Usually I hustle back to the house after the sun goes down, especially if I’m out on the dock because I have to walk back about a quarter of a mile through the woods. It’s not that it’s a long walk, but I never know what will be rustling around out there. That’s the whole point though, isn’t it? To be with what is there. What was there two nights ago was a Great Horned Owl. I did not get to see him or her, but did have the pleasure of listening to his/her soft hoo-h’HOO-hoo-hoo for a little while.
I guess that’s about it from me on this beautiful Tuesday. Thank you so much for visiting. Let’s meet out at the Point for sunset. Mother Nature has been putting on quite a show lately. Some sunsets have been more subtle than others, but they are all beautiful. Sunset is scheduled for 4:52 PM. It’s not too bad outside. Sunny, breezy (winds 10-20 mph), and in the low 40’s (F). As always, it’s a little cooler near the water so you probably want to dress in layers or wear your winter coat, hat, and gloves.
Please be safe, be well, and be kind. ♥
A few of the 10,000 reasons to be happy: 1,661) Moon and sky, sunrises and sunsets, birds in flight. 1,662) The songs and whistles and calls of the birds. 1,663) The melodies of winter winds. 1,664) Replacing my new phone with a new phone. To be honest, I’m not entirely happy about this, but there seems to be little choice in the matter. I dropped my new phone on the concrete pad by the garage yesterday, cracking and partially shattering the screen. The phone still works, so it’s just the screen. I called around and it costs more to replace/repair the screen than it does to buy a new phone so… might as well buy a new phone. 1,665) Snickerdoodles (cookies). Yum.