Monday, December 21, 2020

Winter Solstice - the Joy of Light

We ski into the forest at dawn to welcome Winter Solstice.

Weak light shines dimly between trees.

The sun rises higher as we climb.

I'm mesmerized as light permeates and transforms darkness.

This day, this hour, this moment receive my full attention...

lighting darkness...

infusing joy.

may lightness of being guide me:
penetrate darkness
cast out shadows
create stillness
in my soul

Winter Solstice
December 21, 2020

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photos iPhone 11pro

Friday, December 18, 2020

Long Relationships, Loving Memories

It's snowing hard as daylight turns to dusk.
Tomorrow will be a good day to ski on the forest trails.

The winter forest is magical.

Sometimes, sun filters through the trees.
 And sometimes, clouds cast shadows.

Stumps become snow sculptures.
I think of my friend when I pass this stump.
One summer 15 years ago, she sat here while her husband shaved her head.
Chemo caused her hair to fall out in clumps.
Thankfully, today she is well.

Do you see Waldo smiling outside as Chief frowns inside?

My former student brought us a gift yesterday.
(She left it on our porch because we're still isolating.)
The beautiful blooming orchid contrasts with the snow outside.
Many years ago, in the early 90's, I tutored her in English.
She passed the test for her GED (high school diploma).
Then, I continued tutoring her through her associate degree at the local college.
Formerly from El Salvador, she became a Naturalized citizen.
She asked Bob to give her away in marriage.
Now her daughter is in her first year of college.
We have come full circle.
Another generation studies and works hard to attain an education.

As darkness falls, I count my blessings.

I'm thankful for long, loving relationships.
Good memories.
Many Good Things.

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Friday, December 4, 2020

Fall Down - Get Up

We skied through the forest this afternoon.
The sun shone, but it remained below freezing.
Our usual route is uphill for about 1 1/2 miles.
Then comes the thrill of the homeward downhill.

snowing while the sun is shining

It was hard work climbing on a packed trail, and I started sweating immediately.
I unzipped and let my hat dangle from its bungie, happy that I was wearing wicking garments. 
When we finally got to the top of our loop, we followed a lesser-used ski trail through dense forest.

I fell on that trail, my ski catching on a small, partly buried limb.
I sweated even more with the effort of standing to get my skis under me again.
Remember me rising and lowering myself to and from the bottom step without using my arms and hands? 
(I have blog friends who say they can rise from the floor to standing, but I need the step.)
This muscle memory is key to lifting myself off the ground when I fall on skis. 
Bob waited patiently but didn't help by pulling me up.
I use the poles and my muscles to leverage myself upright.
It's not a pretty sight and takes a few minutes arranging body and mind to the task.
I need to know I can do it myself for the times I'm alone on the skis.

Pattern of animal tracks from ground level.

The second time I fell was on the steeper downhill.
This time it took me longer to get the skis and myself situated properly.
I was covered in snow with it stuffed down my gloves and up my sleeves.
I may have cursed a little under my breath.
 However, I managed to rise.

Tonight, I am pleasantly tired.
Tomorrow, I may be a bit sore and stiff.
But, knowing I can still stand the skis and get up if I fall makes me thankful.

The beauty of the snowy forest as I view it both upright and from the ground is my good thing today!

Stay well.
Try to stay upright.
(But if you fall, get up....)

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Friday, November 27, 2020


We had a week of celebrations.

Bob turned 76 on Monday, the 23rd.
Yesterday, we counted our blessings by celebrating Thanksgiving.
Throughout the week, family and friends called, texted, and sent greetings.
Though we remain isolated, we feel connected to others by love.

We received the gift of white in 2 storms.

The first dropped a foot of snow and transformed our surroundings.
Last evening, another couple inches fell.

On Thanksgiving morning, we skied through the forest on our touring skis.
The chill air, the laden trees, the heightened body awareness uplift our spirits.

The magic of gliding through a white world never grows old.

We're very lucky to live in proximity to wilderness.
Its beauty and challenge enhance our lives in a myriad of ways.
In Nature I find respite from my fears and my worries.

Wherever you are in the world, I send hope for health and for healing.
In a world of problems there are still many good things.
Find them, focus on them, and let them feed your soul.

I send hugs from Colorado.

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Friday, November 6, 2020

Work and Play

Six large lodgepoles were downed by wind across trails we use.
With winter fast approaching, they blocked our usual route on touring skis.
Luckily some industrious neighbor cleared all but one.

Early this morning, we headed out to be lumberjacks.
Two trees were actually across the trail.
A dead tree came down and took a healthy one with it.

Bob got busy with the hand saw.
I gave important instructions like
"be careful!"
"don't cut yourself!"

With the dead one sawed, he had to drag it off the trail.
My job was to hold the saw.

When the healthy tree was sawed, it looked like Charley Brown's Christmas tree.
Unfortunately, it will die before the holidays.

With the trail passable, our morning work was complete, and we hiked back home.
I was famished after all my supervision!

This week, we've had the usual moose and foxes moving across the property.

A less frequent visitor we're always happy to see is the Pine Marten.
They are secretive animals and seeing one is always a treat.
It stayed on the deck for about half an hour.

It rested for awhile, yawning and briefly closing its eyes.
However, it was always on guard.
It was aware of me at the window, but didn't seem worried.
We've had successive generations of Martens over 25 years. 
Perhaps they've learned we pose no threat.

Here is a brief video.

Our county is now in orange stage 2 and under greater restrictions because the virus is spreading.
Meanwhile, our ski areas are opening, and tourists are arriving.

Bob and I continue to isolate.

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Saturday, October 31, 2020

May Love and Peace Abide

start of snow

We had 11" (28 cm) of snow about a week ago.
It was our third snow since September.
We thought this might be our base for winter.
However, temperatures have risen above freezing.
The warmth of the sun is melting it quickly.

Today, I decided to walk the streets in my neighborhood.
It was gusty, and I'm worried about huge lodgepoles falling in the forest.
I'm wearing a lightweight neck gaiter called a "buff" when I walk for exercise.
If I meet someone, I raise it to cover my mouth and nose.

Our county recently adopted more stringent Covid rules.
Residents may have only 6 people in their homes from no more than 2 households.
Rentals may have 10 from no more than 2 households. 
I question (to myself) why tourists may have 4 more people than residents.
(It doesn't make sense, but what does when the "rules" constantly change?)

On my walk, I passed a home with many cars in the driveway.
I wondered how many people were inside.
We've been warned about parties and gatherings.
"Only 2 at my house," I thought.

As I continued onward, a young man came my way.
I switched to the opposite side of the street (we have no sidewalks). 
I covered my face with the buff.
He wore nothing to cover his face.

Just as he was almost across from me, he forcefully cleared his throat and....

I was appalled at his crude and rude behavior.
I immediately thought of my grandchildren and chided them in my mind:
take note - this behavior is not OK!
I looked where the young man was going, and, of course, he turned into the "party" house.

I felt upset by the encounter, but on reflection, I knew he was not disrespecting me.
Instead, he disrespected himself (and the family who raised him). 
Immediately, I said quietly, "May love and peace abide with you."
I felt he needed the blessing, and I needed to give it.

This happening obviously affected me, or I wouldn't be writing about it.
But, the blessing set me apart from anger and negative feelings.
I continued on my way, calm and happy.
I smiled to feel the sun on my shoulders and the wind in my face.

a light in the forest

May love and peace abide with you.
Thank you for visiting.

Photos were taken during my walks this week.

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Sunday, October 25, 2020

End of Fall

We're awaiting snow.


We've had longer than usual fall weather.
Now, we need moisture badly.

dried grasses glowing in sunlight

It's been nice to hike through balmy fall days.
But, the forest is very, very dry.
A blanket of snow would reduce our risk of wildfire.

town of Breckenridge from a ridge in our neighborhood

Yesterday, after our walk, I sowed wildflower seeds.
I smile at the promise of the seeds.
Perhaps next summer I'll see colorful blooms dancing in the breeze.

lovely Blue Spruce in the forest

Early this morning, Silver, the large male fox, scouted our property.
I saw movement on the deck and watched the pine marten on patrol.
Later, I was startled by 4 bull moose stampeding through the forest.
I was glad I wasn't walking a path near them!
The wild things are alert and on the move.

heading home through dry forest

We received good news this week. 
Bob's Urologist called to report that his bloodwork was excellent.
Though I didn't know I was worried, I shed tears of relief.
Now, we go on with life until his next test in 3 months.

sunset before the forecasted snow

As I finish this post, it's starting to snow.
Moisture in the form of white is my one good thing today.

Photos are of walks near the house in the past week.
Thank you for your visit.
Stay well!
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Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Where the Wild Things Are

Fall is a busy time for wild animals in the forest and on our property.

Can you find the moose?

During the summer, I rarely see foxes, but lately they visit every day.
One small female is very tame.
If I'm outside working, she rests nearby, watching carefully.

Some mornings, she comes onto the deck and peeks in the window.
I recognize a large, regal male with silver rump.
I'm always happy to spot him.
He's cautious and keeps his distance.

the brown spot in front of the cow is one of her calves

We have moose stopping by every day.

Sometimes, when I look outside, I'm startled by a large ungulate grazing just off the deck. 
One day, a cow and her twin calves spent hours resting at the edge of our yard.
Once, I also had twins to tend, so I sympathized with her exhaustion.

Deer are drawn to the seed heads in my garden.
Sometimes a whole herd of doe and fawns graze on what's left of my perennials.
One doe that often came alone in the summer is now accompanied by twins.
I think she hid them when they were younger as she grazed nearby.
I always felt she was thin, but I suppose it was because she was feeding two.

Snow fell several days ago but is mostly melted already.
We need moisture badly.
One spark could start a devastating wildfire.

Bob went for blood work yesterday.
The blood draw site in the hospital is a small room.
After he registered, people started arriving.
Soon the room was packed, and he was still waiting.
Our county has stopped mobile testing for covid even though numbers are rising.
People now come to this little room in the hospital.
Finally, he left without having the draw.
It seemed too dangerous to expose himself to possibly sick people.
All this time we've isolated. Now we hope he wasn't exposed in the blood draw room!

Wild things are my one good thing today.
Thank you for stopping to visit.
(Perhaps you're a wild thing too....)
Smile and stay healthy.

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Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Celebrating Fall

Our fall is brief but glorious at high altitude.
For a couple weeks we live in a golden world.

Temperatures start to drop below freezing in the night.
Wildflowers and perennials go to seed.
Bushes and trees put on a show.

On early-morning walks, we wear layers.
The forest floor turns russet and amber.
Sunlight streaming through lodgepoles has a golden cast.

Each day, there is work on the property preparing for winter.
Garden ornaments are stored.
Leaves are raked.

On sunny afternoons, we sit in sunshine on the deck with mugs of coffee.
We talk of winter as leaves drift down on our shoulders.

Tourists still visit Breckenridge, but they rarely venture onto the trails behind our house. 
If we do see people approaching, we veer into the forest.
Usually, we meet no one on our walks.

We're alert for bear and moose.
The bear are gorging, preparing for hibernation.
The bull moose are in rut, searching for mates.
The squirrels are busy storing food for the long winter.
Gray Jays, like little old men in overcoats, follow us as we walk.

Nothing remains the same.
We cherish this time of change.
We stay isolated, surrounded by beauty.
We enjoy the quiet.

Stay well - look for One Good Thing.

Thank You for visiting.


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