Friday, March 23, 2012

Alone Versus Lonely

I've been thinking about loneliness and solitude.

When I was younger, raising my Family, teaching and working outside the home, I rarely experienced solitude. However, in the midst of busy interaction, I was sometimes lonely. Now retired, I am often alone but rarely lonely.

 As I hiked by myself yesterday, I pondered the healing aspect of solitude. Sometimes I crave a quietness of spirit that can only be achieved by being fully present and alone with myself. I feel that if I can't be good company for myself, why should others want to spend time with me? 

I use solitude to rejuvenate, so I can give myself to others without reservation. Loneliness is often indicative of sadness. However, for me, solitude (the time spent alone) is uplifting.

Do you welcome solitude or crave constant company?
When you're alone do you immediately feel lonely?
Sometimes, I like to ask myself these questions.
We are all different - no answer is right or wrong.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Swinging into Spring

It's spring in the Rockies.

But, I won't be swinging anytime soon.

I've been running/walking the main trail behind my house on top of the packed snow. I go in the early morning before the sun's warmth penetrates the forest, and the snow gets slushy and unstable. I'm staying alert for bears just out of hibernation. So far, I've only encountered bossy squirrels that chatter at me for intruding. I know there will be more snow, but for now I welcome the warmth of spring. We are in the melt and freeze cycle that signals the change of seasons at high altitude.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Spring at High Altitude

Spring is elusive in the Central Rockies of Colorado. High altitude means winter white usually reigns until late May. However, in this low-snow year possibly we'll see bare earth a bit sooner. Traditionally, we get wet, heavy snow storms in March, April, and May sometimes changing to sleet, hail, or rain. So far, March's precipitation is minimal.
 There are no cold, white pillows on the evergreens. Snow on the high peaks glistens like merengue melting in the sunshine.
Seed pods left over from fall announce their prickly presence in early-morning's sepia glow.
Tiny pine trees sway unencumbered, casting graceful blue shadows.
 Creatures venture out of their high rise condos to sun themselves and search for food.
Bears awaken famished after their long slumber. Coyote, fox, moose, elk, and deer find secluded spots to give birth. Perhaps the female moose who frequents my back yard will soon bring a gangly baby to graze. The air warms and the light softens. Animals, humans, and finally plants begin to stir in spring's slow caress. We start waving goodbye to winter hoping it won't overstay its welcome. We know it's in no hurry to leave.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Life as Story

Two (possibly) unrelated happenings:
I was sitting in the sun today at an urban coffee shop reading on my Kindle. A woman passed my table wearing so much perfume that I nearly gasped. I don't know what the scent was, but my senses registered "Too Much." In her defense, she was a woman perhaps close to my age, and she looked very chic (compared to myself). However, she reeked (which I do not). 
As I was trying to think of One Good Thing about the woman (I decided on stylish), a man approached my table and asked if he could take a seat. Thinking he meant literally take the seat I wasn't using and place it at another table, I answered, "I'm waiting for my husband." 
"Too bad," he said and went to sit on a nearby bench.
I looked around and there were plenty of seats available. So, I wondered if he actually meant, "Could I sit here with you?" I could see him in my peripheral vision - he seemed to watch me, but maybe I was imagining it. Here's the thing - my white hair is short and spiky and on this day as on most days I'm wearing running shoes with black yoga pants and an exercise t-shirt under a fitted lightweight black jacket. Alas, I'm not stylish, but I do think I have a fetching smile. As I sat mulling about both the woman and now the man, my husband finally arrived on his bike. The guy on the bench got up and ambled away when my husband approached the table. We sat and talked for awhile as people came and went and the sun warmed our backs. I didn't mention the woman or the man. Finally, when I walked home, I thought of stories and how Life is made up of interconnected happenings. Eventually, we make a book of them in our heads to amuse ourselves or to remember. Today, there was a woman whose scent outranked her appearance and also a man with dark hair who may or may not have been hitting on me. 

Life's happenings come spiraling at us and somehow we connect them into Stories.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Early Morning, Tenmile Range

the mountains wake

craggy peaks catch first light
reflecting from rising sun
molten gold leaks down slopes  
glows along serrated ridges 
inky dark recedes
a chilly day is born

Friday, March 2, 2012

Never Ending

Occasionally, I meet someone in the wilderness behind my house. A question I'm often asked is, "Where does this trail lead?" Usually, I give a straightforward answer based on where they want to go and how much time they have to spend. But, the truth is I believe that the trail goes on forever. One path leads into another until a lifetime could be spent exploring the vast forests, high peaks, and lush meadows. That's how I like to think of it, as an unending possibility waiting to be admired and investigated and as a wild adventure poised to happen. 

rabbit tracks in snow
in the midst of your busy day
remember the deep silence
of winter's wild places
and feel renewed