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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