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Winter’s wonders

Yesterday.

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.

Take heaven.

No peace lies in the future which is not hidden in this precious little instant.

Take peace.

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

One (January): Gulls. Proper behavior, courtesy, communication, reading between the lines. (When I looked outside on Christmas morning, hundreds of gulls were flying quietly overhead. This is an older photo because I did not have the camera at the time and didn’t want to run to get it because I was enjoying the wonder of the moment.)

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.”

Two (February): Marsh. The transitional process, decomposition, the tearing down of the old before the new can be built.

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.

Three (March): Hawk.  Messenger, protector, visionary.  Leads you towards your creative life purpose.  Be observant.  Life is sending you signals.

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.

Four (April): Bald Eagle. This juvenile showed up yesterday morning. He was sitting by the pond.  Touching life with healing, becoming a mediator and creative force within the world.

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.

Five (May): Cardinal.  Renewed vitality, listening to the inner voice, adding color to your life.

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

Sunday’s sunset from the dock.

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.

Every sunset is different. I wonder if one could use sunsets as a form of divination? Someone probably has.  (A quick search turned up “aeromancy” which seems to be divining by weather and sky phenomena, but I didn’t find anything specifically related to sunsets or sunrises.)

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.

Almost full.

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.  ♥

After dark, when the owls hoot.

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.

Some of the colors of winter.

Author:

Robin is a photographer, artist, writer, yoga teacher, sometime poet, wife, mom, grandma, daughter, sister, friend, and occasional traveler currently living on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. She shares her daily walks and meanders, a lot of quotes, some of her artwork, and a lot of her photography here on Ye Olde Blogge. Older posts can be found at Life in the Bogs, her previous blog. Robin and her husband are (still!) in the midst of renovating the house and cleaning up the property they refer to as the Wabi-Sabi Ranch, 35 acres that include marsh, a dock on a tidal creek, meadows, and woodlands. Every day brings new discoveries.

20 thoughts on “Winter’s wonders

  1. Robin, this post felt so peaceful. I did enjoy it–imagining you walking at night and listening to the owl. Imagining you walking home from the dock. The cardinal picture startled me with its red being-ness. Thanks for your Monday sharing. P.S. About two hours ago caught a glimpse of a coyote or wolf running through the woods. It wasn’t close enough to identify, but it was cool to see it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re welcome, and thank you, Kathy. 🙂 I need to come over and get caught up with you, especially since I know you’re finishing up today. How cool about the coyote or wolf!

      Like

  2. You sound contented today. 🙂 I’m so happy for you that you were able to watch your grandsons opening their gifts. My four-year-old grandson rips open his gifts in a great hurry usually, but this year he was under the spell of his two-year-old cousin, and everything changed. Aurora handed out gifts to everyone, made sure Braxton had gifts to unwrap also, sat with him on the floor and opened her gifts carefully. Then she placed the wrappings in the waste-paper bin. Braxton follower her lead. It was hilarious! But oh-so sweet. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Winter… yes! SAD in summer… yes! I read somewhere recently that there is no bad weather, only inappropriate clothing. I get out more in winter than summer as well, and as long as I have my gloves, scarf, heavy coat, etc., it’s all good. Lovely photos, especially the moon one.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I like to take meaning from the animals that come my way, too. Coincidentally, like you, yesterday I saw an eagle fly low over the back yard. A power totem we don’t see that often here as our river has few fish, but I read that they are scavengers, so perhaps there are deer that have died for one reason or another in our woods. We have plenty of deer.
    Your sunsets are lovely, wasn’t the moon tonight stunning?!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was indeed stunning, Eliza. We’ve been lucky and able to see the moon lately (instead of clouds which can be nice at sunrise and sunset, but no fun when you’re trying to see the moon). The eagles have been very visible here the past few days.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I was lucky enough to see 3 of the 4 grand in person on Christmas. They’re in my bubble and I get to see them a couple of days a week. I would
    go crazy if I couldn’t.

    You are so fortunate to have such a variety of surroundings to explore year round! I don’t and I’m not able to walk much these days. I was thinking that I should look for a reasonably priced outdoor heated so I can sit outside and read it just sit.

    I’m looking forward to reading and writing more blogs in the coming year.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. A gorgeous set of nature omens, Robin! I love the gull flying in the blue sky and the cardinal set in the gray branches. It’s always good to add a good dose of color to one’s life. We’ve had some delayed gift deliveries, too, but everyone seems to be taking it all in stride. Hearing your granddaughter play “Blackbird” on her guitar must have made your heart sing! 💕

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I, too, took a break from blogging, reading as well as writing. Slowly, I am easing back in, with your beautiful post as one of the first. That purple sky over the marsh is a beauty, and “Blackbird” is one of my favorite songs, so very appropriate for this year, which has been a tough one. Here’s hoping that 2021 will be a better one, with a new administration, a new energy, and, we hope, a new direction for this country.

    Liked by 1 person

Comments are delightful and always appreciated. I will respond when I can (life is keeping me busy!), and/or come around to visit you at your place soon. Thank you!

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