The least movement is of importance to all nature. The entire ocean is affected by a pebble.
~ Blaise Pascal
I went out to look at the full moon on Thursday night. January’s full moon, like most full moons, has several names including the Wolf Moon and the Center Moon (since it typically marks the middle or center of winter). To me it was the Coyote Moon. After writing about coyotes here on the Shore, and how I’ve never heard them here, Thursday night I did hear them for the first time. There were five of our herd of deer out there with me in the shrieking wind and cold, and under the light of the full moon. I’m not sure how they feel about coyotes being here, but I think it’s a good thing. My hope is that the hunters and farmers don’t find them (the coyotes).
M recently had a conversation with one of the hunters who comes over to the Mystery Woods across the road to hunt. The hunter, a young man, said that he shoots coyotes whenever he finds them (there are no limits to hunting coyotes in Maryland). He also offered to “get rid of” our red fox. M politely declined and the guy said if we don’t, the fox will eat our cats. I don’t know where he got that idea. Foxes are not the least bit interested in animals who have teeth and claws and can cause them some damage. I wish hunters were better educated about the environment and the animals who live here.
So feel the rhythm
beyond the beat.
Begin with a break,
and let your soul
~ Michael O’Sulleabhain, Turas d’Anam, Early Music
I’m feeling tired lately. I find that weird because I’ve been sleeping well. My sleep has been deep enough to be loaded with dreams. The dreams are rather ordinary. Just everyday stuff although they often involve people I haven’t seen for a while. My sister, old friends, an aunt who died several years ago, my mother (who died in 2009), and a whole host of others.
It could just be winter and January, although winter usually wakes me up. I find the snow, cold, and ice exhilarating. It could be that I’m feeling my age. This past year has felt more like ten years in some regards. I don’t mind the slowing of time, but I’d rather it not include a racing of age.
The pleasure prescription. Long ago and far away, I read a book called The Pleasure Prescription by Paul Pearsall. The book was about the way that Polynesian cultures live a healthy life of experiencing balanced pleasure/delight (and yes, there is some cultural appropriation going on in this book), and there might have been some mention about how we Westerners (mostly the white folk) tend to feel guilty about pleasure. It was about taking pleasure in the beautiful things in life, in nature, in food, in sex, and in all the things we think of as pleasurable, but also taking pleasure in the work, the exercise, even the things we might not think of as pleasurable. It was about what the author referred to as “following our seventh sense, an instinctive drive to what is healthful and pleasurable.”
I’ve been thinking of pleasure and delight over the past few days (maybe weeks). For me, part of the secret of delight is being present in the moment. I tend to get impatient at times, wanting to move on to the next thing/experience before I’ve experienced where I’m at. For instance, doing breath work in yoga class sometimes feels too slow with too many pauses and in my head I’m thinking, “Can’t we just get on with the meditation?” However, there are times (more often than not, now) when it is pleasurable, an expansion and contraction of Joy. What changes my attitude from one of impatience to one of joy is being present and relaxing into it (instead of thinking about what I’m going to do when I finish or how long my to-do list is for the day).
Pondering that when I rolled out of bed yesterday, I slowly went through my yoga practice, finding pleasure in my movement, in my breath, in my chanting, and in meditation. I thought about how it is pleasurable to tend to my body, to attend to the good pleasures in life, to eat green things, to do the work (whatever my work happens to be).
When I finished my practice, M and I went out to the Point, braving the elements and the banshee-winds to see the sunrise and moonset, but mostly to see the ice sculptures that result when there is cold and wind driving the water to shore. It was gorgeous out there, but brutal. Even with gloves AND mittens, my hands got cold quickly. Even with my face mostly wrapped in a scarf, my face felt frozen. The wind has been blowing about 30 mph, with gusts over 40 mph, and the temperature was in the low 20’s or teens (F). Cold, cold, cold.
There is an exhilaration to days like this, and I find that pleasurable even in the midst of freezing fingers and face. The wind nearly knocked me on my ass once. The slippery ice on the shore nearly took me down. Taking photos was hard because it’s difficult to hold the camera steady when the wind is trying to grab it out of my hands. The ice is beautiful, the waves on the water are beautiful, the dark blue of the water is beautiful. The moon looked like a big pale-pink ball on the horizon. The sunlight riffling through the small columns of ice was gorgeous.
We didn’t stay long. About 15 minutes, tops. It was just too cold to be out there long. The cold of winter and I are old friends. I know the different types of cold and I know my limits. This was not the type that encourages you to stick around. In fact, it’s the type that clearly tells you to move along. Come back later, maybe.
The Point is somewhat sheltered but the water, wind, and cold still manage to create some interesting formations. Someday, when the weather has been just right, I will make my way out to Deal Island to have a look at what happens there. I’ve seen some photos of the beaches and docks on Deal Island where it is not as sheltered. The water freezes in big waves of ice that appear to have frozen just as they were about to crash on the beach or the docks. It looks incredible.
There is snow on the way tomorrow and Monday. It looks as though Monday is our best chance for snow we can play in. Tomorrow will be snow changing over to rain. Monday will be just snow. If we get enough, I’m going to do all the snow things. I’m going to build a snowman, throw snowballs, cross-country ski, and hike in the woods. This recent bout of cold prepared me for snow. I pulled out my snowboarding coat and pants, all the scarves and gloves and hats, and the fleece under-layers that keep me nice and toasty. In other words, bring on the snow! I’m ready for it.
I have more photos of the ice from yesterday and from this morning, but it feels like it’s time to move on so I can spend a little time visiting you in your neighborhood. Thank you so much for stopping by today. Let’s meet out at the dock for sunset this evening. It’s still cold and windy so you’ll want to bundle up. Yesterday there was an eagle out there who took off when she heard me coming, her white feathers on head and tail lit up by the colors of the sunset. It was amazing and beautiful. Perhaps she’ll be out there again this evening. Sunset is scheduled for 5:24 PM. I’ll head out that way about 15-20 minutes before that so I can meander through the woods that lead to the dock.
Please be safe, be well, and be kind. ♥
A few of the 10,000 reasons to be happy: 1.706) Being present, and attending the beautiful in life. 1,707) Finding that beauty just about everywhere. 1,708) Winter’s ice sculptures on the beach. 1,709) Yoga class today that led to me pondering the life-giving light of the sun and many other things. 1,710) Witchy moons.