One of my Resolutions for 2011 is to spend some time each day outside, no matter what. Lord knows I could use the dang exercise and fresh air, of course. But I see that I'm becoming more and more reclusive as I age, and I know now that if I don't pay the Earth a daily visit, I'll lose touch with Her altogether. Sounds like a good habit to get into, in any event.
So yesterday I layered myself up and walked a side street to the town's main thoroughfare and back again. Snow was coming down at the time -- big sparkly flakes like sequins. And between the sounds my boots made as I crunched along I could hear them fall....
I stopped to appreciate one of my favorite trees, an oak that keeps its leaves in winter. And I saw discarded pines at the curbside, some still sporting a thread or two of tinsel, and I made a point of thinking kind thoughts to them about how noble it was to have been a Christmas tree. (Normally I'd just stand there and tell them so personally, but for some reason yesterday I saw in my head the entire village looking out its windows for a second and catching me talking to myself in the snow....)
Then on my way home again I happened upon a fort that some child had dug in a drift, and I couldn't help but stop to appreciate it as it was like none of the winter creations that I'd ever managed to make as a kid. This structure looked like it'd been carved out of ice pack. It was dark and sturdy and as big as a child-sized cave. There were even blunt little icicles hanging inside like stalactites. And when I bent over to look at it all head-on, I realized that the whole thing tunneled through the drift to daylight, and when I saw that it did so, I immediately recognized my focus for the year:
The way may appear to be cold and dark at first, but the dangers are minimal. And there's a light eventually.
Hmmmm. I can live with that. :)