In the depths of winter,
when I stand as one of the white birch
when the ravens come to rest atop
silent pines and the fields calm
I finally know I am alive when I hear my heartbeat.
Stopping at the green gate and the snow covered driveway, the pine trees embrace the winter sky and the morning light, shadows reach across the space between tree trunks.
Too much Time has passed since the last visit and the space feels foreign. While I remember the name of each tree, I hope the ravens remember me as they circle nearly out of sight, their call still echoes through the forest, the only other voice heard above the winds’ song.
Packed snow crunches with each step. Brown pine needles blanket the white surface, untouched except the many deer tails weaving through the trees, reaching beyond what I can see.
The sun’s intensity warms tired bones and muscles. The wind directs eyes up as the treetops sway against the cloud-free winter blue.
Each breath tastes of nature. Each breath brings me back. Each breath brings me closer to a chance meeting with god.
Storms rolled through last week.
Weak and old trees toppled to the ground or fell into a neighbor or
landed on the wire fencing with the orange flags.
Near the pole barn smaller trees were uprooted but the metal roof
still looks new, the green roof glistening when wet.
What little birch are mixed with the pine
still stand, their white and grey skin
Summer months fell into the autumn.
Mist clung to pine before the sun rose.
Brown needles falling from the sky
slide down the barn’s green metal roof.
We walk past fallen trees, piles of brush,
two tree stumps to be removed, knee-high
patches of weeds and wild flowers, a
bat house, three thistle-filled socks,
a burnt circle in the dirt from last
years burning, and finally the green gate.
The open field stretches to the horizon
and beyond with our imagination as to
the wonders nature has planned as
the sun emerges above the treeline.
From the east, we hear them.
Closer, louder, they circle at
great heights, specs in the sky,
appearing to descend the closer
they come to the field, as we
move behind grasses.
One last circle and their
grand black bodies against
the autumn blue, pass over
our heads, a slow motion dream
with an empty mind, one wing flap
echoes through the open field
and soon the whoosh disappears
along with the raven, natures’ wonder.
Why do I spend each weekend
breaking sweet and back?
What does each peeled layer represent?
What am I looking for?
Across the water lapping at my feet
the land rises to the sky
and the cliffs.
I dream in color, I dream in green
I smell warm pine and feel my skin burn
as each layer dissipates and I melt
into the earth and am consumed by roots.
Fall is the perfect time of year for building trails through the woods. Most tree leaves have fallen, the intense underbrush of summer, including small trees, weeds, and tall grasses, have wilted. The trail emerges and you can more easily find where you left off the previous fall. Passing by birch, pine, oak, and maple this is nature in all its forms. From the deer runs zig-zagging everywhere, to the seasonal creek that is now dry, to the raven flying so close you can hear the wings flapping, this makes everything else worthwhile.
In preparation for winter and snowshoeing, I spent the past two weekends installing new trail markers, making sure existing can be seen clearly, and cleaning fallen trees and other debris. Now is also the time to scope out where the next spur trail will be installed.
The cold morning greets
weary eyes with
a faint glowing horizon
the moon, and Orion’s stoic stance.
A northern Minnesota sunrise
across the corn fields.
Each stalk blazing orange
as the wind scatters fallen
leaves, milkweed seeds, and
Ravens are waiting atop
the whispering pine trees.
The frosty ground crunches
as head into the woods.
Deep into the northern woods, beneath the blue sky, near full moon, and lush pine trees, balance is finally being restored. After an Alaskan Amber, Joline begins to emerge and I finally continue the story that I have been working on for over 15-years. This current work will provide more of a background story for Joline, and who she is in a more basic, and pure state of mind.