Saturday, January 03, 2009

A bitterly cold day. The snow swirls off the roof, and the little birds have abandoned the feeders in favour of shelter in the bushes..On the way home from church we saw a hawk, diving and circling with the tempetuous wind.

It reminded me of Hopkins' Windhover...

I CAUGHT this morning morning’s minion, king-
dom of daylight’s dauphin, dapple-dawn-drawn Falcon, in his riding
Of the rolling level underneath him steady air, and striding
High there, how he rung upon the rein of a wimpling wing
In his ecstasy! then off, off forth on swing,

But more than that, the wintry landscape and the blowing snow gave me cause to reflect on the benign sweetness of a summer's day, the great, growing greenness and the lively vitality of the garden, the valley, the meadows, the hills, and the bright blue of the sky.

Close the curtains, poke up the fire, and come and join me in a little Summertime nostalgia. And a little light summery music by Django Reinhardt - does it make you want to jig down the garden path?

Thursday, January 01, 2009


I sit idly watching the snow, - once again.... It is calm, - the flakes drift straight from heaven, restoring the pristine beauty of a snowy landscape and foiling the efforts of those who labor to keep the roads in passably good shape.

While the snow was still fine Caspar and I went walking, he keeping to the plowed paths on the road after being rebuffed in his blindness by the stacked snow that lines the lane. When we came back up the road he scooted in to have his sweater taken off, and I made a little path to the bird feeders with sunflower and seed supplies.

Instant response, - by the time I was in the house the word was out, and a flock of little birds came calling.

I watched them, on this first day of the New Year, and thought about their brief lives, and then about the relevance of Time and the moments and the months and the years we live.

Our bodies are inclined to betray us. We hope that our minds grow into some semblance of wisdom. But our spirits remain the same - it seems the years have no dominion over them and we are the same today as we were when young. This is some kind of a miracle? When I was twenty-two, thirty seemed the end of youth, and when I was forty-two, sixty seemed the acme of enjoyable old age. Now that I will be eighty-four (tomorrow) I feel young and exuberant when I think about dear friends of ninety-three, and I am filled with plans for the next ten years. It is all relative - there is no general Truth to apply to any particular time of our lives.

Nevertheless, if we are hopeful of extending our time here, I am slowly accepting the fact that it is important to respect our energies, and to govern our day to day lives by what they will allow.

That is probably my first and most important resolve on this Day of Resolutions, - to remind my Ego of the priorities I have to home and loved ones.

In a way the process of withdrawal comes naturally. If I imagine the family as a wide circle there was always a small ring at the centre where Parents resided. Now, I find that small ring has drifted further and further towards the periphery of the circle. And has even, perhaps, shown signs of translucence, as the ring parts a little where a path wanders off. A slow realization that we are approaching the station for a journey which inevitably must be made alone.

In the meantime there is so much beauty to absorb, so much gardening to enjoy, so many meals to share, so much music to listen to, so many fragrances to surround ourselves with, so many books to read, so many things to talk about, (so many socks to knit...) I see Time stretching far into the distance and I know that if we maintain our health and keep our wits about us the years will continue to be happy, and positive, and full of joy.