Thursday, January 18, 2018

Doubling down on January #phenology

I suppose, if we're going to have two supermoons in January, one of them a blue moon, combined with a lunar eclipse, having two January thaws in Minnesota isn't impossible. In fact, we're currently enjoying the second above freezing period this month. Melting snow is sliding off the squirrel baffle on a bird feeder. Damp areas are encircling the small patches of snow on the front stoop. The belief that Winter may, indeed, be only a transitory experience reawakens. Statistically, we have reached the point when the average daily temperature begins to increase. Time to start dreaming again about flowing waters.

as one season flows into the next
as one season flows into the next
Photo by J. Harrington

While walking the dogs today, we noticed a number of fresh deer tracks crossing  the snow cover on our newly wind blown fields. Fawns are n ow developing in the wombs of pregnant does. Owls are mating. Somewhere, beneath the surface of flowing waters, embryo trout are developing in their gravel nurseries. Winter is both a time when life ebbs for some as well as a time when, well-hidden, new life develops.

We've been reading Linda LeGarde Grover's Onigamiising Seasons of an Ojibwe Year. We find reassurance in her references to the ways the cycle of a year's seasons are reflected in, and reflect, the stages of a person's life. For the moment it's an open question whether we'll read all four seasons now, in Winter, or read each season as it occurs. Knowing us as we do, we suspect our compromise may be to do both.

                     Piute Creek

One granite ridge
A tree, would be enough
Or even a rock, a small creek,
A bark shred in a pool.
Hill beyond hill, folded and twisted   
Tough trees crammed
In thin stone fractures
A huge moon on it all, is too much.   
The mind wanders. A million
Summers, night air still and the rocks   
Warm.   Sky over endless mountains.   
All the junk that goes with being human   
Drops away, hard rock wavers
Even the heavy present seems to fail   
This bubble of a heart.
Words and books
Like a small creek off a high ledge   
Gone in the dry air.

A clear, attentive mind
Has no meaning but that
Which sees is truly seen.
No one loves rock, yet we are here.   
Night chills. A flick
In the moonlight
Slips into Juniper shadow:
Back there unseen
Cold proud eyes
Of Cougar or Coyote
Watch me rise and go.

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Please be kind to each other while you can.