Saturday, March 6, 2010
Today was all glitter and sunlight and blue shadows. There were melting pools of snow everywhere as the temperatures soared to 8 degrees above zero. For the first time in months my body felt a real inkling of spring. It registered in my eyes, my heart, my brain. The March sky was pure brilliance, blown squeaky clean, humming with blue. I can’t get enough of that blue.
Near my house are woods that have been untouched for hundreds of years. Animal tracks criss-cross the trails, paying little attention to the nearby division of fences which separates the domestic from the wild. Rabbit tracks curve across the snowy paths. Dog prints follow along next to the human boot marks, then divert suddenly into the woods, chasing a wild animal perhaps, or a tame one. Fox are filling the niche once occupied by wolves, who sadly now mostly roam this part of the country only in spirit or on t-shirts.
As we walk, the woods beside me begin to change, turning to rows and rows of Scotch pines, and endless Douglas firs. The division between pastoral and wild gets murkier. we pause to rest, standing quietly as I stare out at a woods filled with snow and shadows. It's hard to describe the peace I feel there, the presence of something much larger than myself. My breathing is an echo of the movement of the white-tailed deer that lurk at the edge of the forest.
When we arrive home, never has clam chowder and warm crusty bread tasted so good. We linger with our coffee by the fireplace as we watch the last light of day. How good it is to relish both the familiar and the unexpected. My heart swells like a seed in warm oil. I am renewed in my belief that we humans have a continuous, ongoing need for the rites of celebration, for our deepest rituals of communing.