Category Archives: Outdoors

Exposed on the cliffs of the heart. Look, how tiny down there,
look: the last village of words and, higher,
(but how tiny) still one last
farmhouse of feeling. Can you see it?
Exposed on the cliffs of the heart. Stoneground
under your hands. Even here, though,
something can bloom; on a silent cliff edge
an unknowing plant blooms, singing, into the air.
But the one who knows? Ah, he began to know
and is quiet now, exposed on the cliffs of the heart.
While, with their full awareness,
many sure-footed mountain animals pass
or linger. And the great sheltered bird flies, slowly
circling, around the peak’s pure denial. -But
without a shelter, here on the cliffs of the heart….

~ Rainer Maria Rilke, uncollected poems (translated by Stephen Mitchell)

Bradbury State Park in the pre-dawn light…
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Happy Friday!!!

Waking up to the world blanketed in sparkling snow is one of those experiences in life that is truly magical regardless of how many times it happens. Each one is somehow new and imbued with its very own potential. The slate is clean, the messy footprints and mud of life overcome by the power of nature, of seasons and cycles, by the whitewash of untouched snow.

I’m reminded of this quote:

“There is something joyful about storms that interrupt routine. Snow or freezing rain suddenly releases you from expectations, performance demands, and the tyranny of appointments and schedules. And unlike illness, it is largely a corporate rather than individual experience. One can almost hear a unified sigh rise from the nearby city and surrounding countryside where Nature has intervened to give respite to the weary humans slogging it out within her purview. All those affected this way are united by a mutual excuse, and the heart is suddenly and unexpectedly a little giddy. There will be no apologies needed for not showing up to some commitment or other. Everyone understands and shares in this singular justification, and the sudden alleviation of the pressure to produce makes the heart merry.”

~Wm. Paul Young, The Shack: Where Tragedy Confronts Eternity

Indeed, to be released from expectations…maybe that is why there is such inherent restfulness in snowfall, or perhaps because it connects us to the deeper slumber of the natural world in winter, the necessary renewal before the bursting forth of spring.

We woke Sunday to the joyful return of winter to Maine. After the bizarre warmth of the last weeks that melted away our December stockpile of snow, I thrilled to see fat flakes clinging to the icy windowpanes. After getting a crackling fire going in the woodstove and savoring a “cuppa”, we headed out the door for Tessie’s morning walk and I brought my camera along since I find our neighborhood a transcendent place in the swirl!

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I hope you are staying warm and toasty in this bitter cold! Happy Thursday!