In [fairy tales], power is rarely the right tool for survival anyway. Rather the powerless thrive on alliances, often in the form of reciprocated acts of kindness – from beehives that were not raided, birds that were not killed but set free or fed, old women who were saluted with respect. Kindness sown among the meek is harvested in crisis.
~ Rebecca Solnit
We belong to the earth, we belong to the sky. We inter-are. Wisdom, compassion, body, mind are not separate.
~ Roshi Joan Halifax
The ultimate, hidden truth of the world is that it is something we make, and could just as easily make differently.
~ David Graeber and David Wengrow, The Dawn of Everything
Today on the island that people call a peninsula, it’s going to be warm, sunny, and windy. There are gale warnings in effect, but gale warnings are for out on the water and we won’t be on the water today. That said, the wind doesn’t stay out on the water. Neither do the waves. Wind and water create most of the music I hear around here in winter (pretty much every season, now that I think about it). I’m beginning to recognize individual songs and the harmonies of trees and wind, grasses and wind, water and shore, water and wind, and some of the other varieties and combinations.
While I’m listening to the wind today, I thought I’d share a few more photos from the wondrous snow we received last week. Hard to believe it’s been ten days ago. My, how time does rush by. I was hoping we might be gifted with more snow this upcoming Sunday/Monday, but the forecasters are saying rain, rain, rain, and plenty of it. They have been known to be wrong and the forecast could change. Fingers crossed that it is snow and not rain. I’d like at least one more opportunity to hike and ski before the crocuses bloom and spring takes over.
Outside the office window, while I type up this post, a family of flickers are sitting in a wild cherry tree. Sunbathing. It’s a good spot for sunbathing. I’ve seen a lot of different birds in that tree over the years we’ve been here. The hawks, in particular, like the sunny location. The wild cherry sits on the edge of Zeke’s woods, long grasses surrounding it. Whatever walks out of the grasses or woods, if it’s small enough, is food for the hawks. Red foxes like to hang out at the base of the tree, catching the sun, resting, or watching for their next meal. The path from Zeke’s woods located near the tree is a high traffic area for the white-tailed deer. I even saw a bald eagle out there once. She looked too big for the branches of the wild cherry, yet somehow the branch she was sitting on held her just fine.
For some reason, that reminds me of something I read recently about letting go of the holding we do and allowing or surrendering ourselves to be held. This holding we do — call it a need to control or feel in control, maybe — makes our bodies and jaws clench or tighten from stress or habit. We might not even notice it until something brings on a relaxation response. The eagle I mentioned above was perfectly content to allow the tree to hold her while she warmed up in the sun, keeping an eye out for whatever might make a tasty breakfast. Practice has probably taught her what will hold her and what will not, but I suspect there are elements of faith and trust involved, too. Whatever you believe in, maybe try to let that hold you for a while instead of you trying to hold it.
I keep trying to find a direction for my words, but they keep flitting and flying around with today’s wind, occasionally resting on the wild cherry tree branch with the flickers. I often wonder what they eat during the winter months. I know they love ants. Are they able to dig up ants during the cold weather months? Maybe they’re diving after seeds or there are some other bugs available to them when the ground is hard. They peck at it the way the woodpeckers go at the trees so maybe they are finding ants or beetles or larvae.
A little randomness: M’s birthday is this weekend. We store our wrapping paper in a bin up in the attic. I don’t like to go up into the attic, mostly because I’m not a fan of climbing ladders or heights. Rather than do that, I spent part of the morning painting some paper I have that I usually use for practicing drawing or for the kids to color or paint on. It turns out to be perfect for wrapping smallish gifts. I used watercolors because I thought the acrylics might be too stiff. I would like to try it with acrylics sometime, just to see.
Bella (Cat) is still hanging in there, acting fairly normal except for the lack of eating. She’s lost more weight. I don’t know how much more weight she can lose before it becomes even more serious. The thing is, she seems happy enough for now. She eats just enough to keep herself going. When she asks to go outside, I open the door for her. She stays close to the house where there is little danger, usually sitting in a patch of sunshine, sniffing the air. My only concern is that cats, like most animals, will sometimes hide when they are very sick and ready to die. I’d rather she didn’t die alone in the cold, somewhere outdoors where a predator might take her. Then again, if it’s her preference… ? She can’t tell me so how would I know?
I reckon that’s enough from me for today. Thank you so much for walking in the snow with me again. Let’s meet out at the Point for sunset this evening. Although the high today is supposed to be in the 50’s, the temperature drops pretty quickly by the water and at sunset. I’d suggest layers. That way you can adjust to be warmer or cooler. Sunset this evening is scheduled for 5:06 PM.
Please be safe, be well, and practice gentleness with yourself and with others.
A few of the 10,000 reasons to be happy: 1,946) Love and the wisdom of love. 1,947) Watching the flickers as they gather on the branches of the cherry tree, occasionally diving down to the lawn to partake of whatever they’re eating. 1,948) The songs of the wind. 1,949) Morning yoga practice. 1,950) Sitting on the dock in the late afternoons, meditating or praying or just being.