Early morning walk to the empty fields
and the blue sky filled with birds.

Wind through the trees
refreshing as closed eyes

cleared the mind
making room for nature.

Finding calm and peace in this world, a challenge, a frustrating challenge.

But outside that door or window, nature. This can take many forms and does not have to be as extreme as mountains, deserts, or jungles. I believe what is essential for our well-being is to seek a balance between ourselves and the world around, and this is accomplished when the energy within interacts with nature, encompassing the same building blocks of life and particles as us. When you take a deep breath, the air composed of the same materials will replenish within us what has been lost or damaged. We are truly made of the stars and they, nature, can sustain and nourish us.

It can be wetland grasses covered with snow.

Or the sun shining through trees.

Or a frozen berry clinging to a tree.

Moving through empty space,
living within the void

at the mercy of science and gravity
our feet hold firm to this planet,

providing shelter, food, water
and the fragile recipes for life.

That cabin in the woods,
nestled beneath second generation pine
planted after the last logging,
waits for our visit.

Snow caught in tree-tops
meanders through the winter sky
covering the green roof in a smooth
slope where acorns speed to the ground.

Ravens ever present toward the open fields,
near the old silo base, they rule the open sky
with acrobatics and voices blanketing
the otherwise quiet space.

The nest in the overhang now empty.
Somewhere deep in the woods they watch
with caution and curiosity as the dogs
run circles around that cabin in the woods.

New snow and we walked the nearby trail. Just the 3 of us through untouched paths and into the open fields. There Vinny found a cleared spot with a meal stored neatly, most likely part of a coyote homestead.

The previous day bathed us in winter light
as the sea sang us to sleep.

Today we slowly become wet snow-people
as the storms take over the landscape

and we marvel at the beauty everywhere.

Just a few hours after arriving we were visited
by the guardians of the north shore…

With fresh snow 4 to 6 inches deep
we cleared a trail into the woods.

Waking that morning, the Aussies were unsettled
and more vocal than normal.

Following the path, we crossed
that of a wolf visiting overnight.

Submerged in the depths of winter,
the land beneath layers of ice,
and the pond a giant glass oval,
I dream of childhood…

As the snow blanketed the sky and trees
we listened intently to the radio
waiting, hoping that our school
would close for the day.

After snowstorm stopped,
outside in the front-yard,
the snow piled high along the street,
we built snow-forts and prepared for battle.

Now, so many years later,
dreams and outlooks have shifted
and what was more external,
has become an internal quest
for silence and peace,
watching the setting sun.

Through our normal daily lives, time consistently pushes us forward toward goals and moments we may or may not be aware of. We are on this train, sometimes without a conductor, but most times with no way to pause or exit that train. While in some regards, the choosing of what defines our view of time is arbitrary, it is rooted in science, astronomy, and universal constants, motions, and laws of gravity.

Imagine what our lives would look like, how much more hurried we would be, if the earth spun around the sun in half the time?

As the sun sets on the last day of our definition of a year, it does give a mental pause, a time for reflection, and a chance to look ahead at another 1-year block of time. The transition grants a reasonable chunk of time to work with, to plan, and set individual goals as I strive to wake up tomorrow better than I was today.

As the sun falls behind the forest and its last rays scatter through bare branches, I begin to accept this as an opportunity to start again, being with a clean slate so to speak, and visit the fields.

Wind-swept and holding tree shadows, the fields are silent and calm and with no judgment they accept my presence as I prepare to transition to the new year.



The boundary between the empty field
and the old pine forest

transports me from the confines of my mind
into the ancient memories of childhood.

Walking between the giants,
they hold up the sky

as I listen to each one
and feel the warmth rising from the earth.

They were here before me
and they will stand above me when

the final day of the this life arrives
and I prepare for the next.