Every author and poet since the beginning of time has written about the cycle of life. For people who endure the four seasons:
Winter = Clearing snow out of parking spots
Spring = Flowers bloom, usually the Boston Marathon is held and baseball begins
Summer = Get me to a beach or lake please!
Fall = Time for the school year to begin, leaves fall from the trees and dentist’s rejoice at all the candle filled children at the end of October.
For me, WINTER is a time of both inwardness and the exploration of the great outdoors as it hibernates. I can handle everything except ice which is my nemesis! I don’t have the best of balance so the slippery mirage (I typically see it after I’m on my ass) literally undermines me.
I’m fortunate despite being a city girl in Boston to have the Arnold Arboretum, the Jamaica Pond, Franklin Park and Blue Hills surrounding me. When I head out to walk in these environs, I notice the buds on trees that are pussy willows with their soft heads protecting their inner glory. I see the trees that lose limbs to the winds or the heaviness of snow and ice causing them to resemble the strange limbs on a scare crow.
I notice the animals – this year many sweet bunny rabbits freeze as I pass with my dog and always the amazing birds that even visit me at my home when I remember to put food out. Red cardinals, Blue Jays and so many grey or brown sparrows who love to domineer the bird feeder. Then there are the squirrels who scavenge their food from any source like left over bird seeds, acorns that they’ve saved for now and sometimes trash and who dog loves to chase away.
I love to walk and notice nature all around me. I feel with every step I take that this is my harmony to nature’s winter melody that is somber and inward. The Four Season’s Winter by Vivaldi comes to mind as a slow, deep lullaby to the world that sleeps and prepares for the explosion of Spring.
I am including this lovely poem by Mary Oliver. Enjoy!
In Blackwater Woods
by Mary Oliver
Look, the trees
their own bodies
are giving off the rich
fragrance of cinnamon
the long tapers
are bursting and floating away over
the blue shoulders
of the ponds,
and every pond,
no matter what its name is, is
I have ever learned
in my lifetime
leads back to this:
the fires and the black river of loss
whose other side is salvation,
none of us will ever know.
To live in this world
you must be able
to do three things:
To love what is mortal;
to hold it against your bones
knowing your own life depends on it;
and, when the time comes to let it go,
to let it go.
Mary Oliver New and Selected Poems