Regardless of what the trail is made of,
it connects us to the earth,
guides us through the forest,
allows us to be within.

Looking at the calendar, over a month has passed since my last post here. Where does the time go? I would like to say that I was in the midst of some grand adventure, but that would not be true! Life. Just life happening, and dealing with the daily grind, the obligations, and the 9-to-5. It can be a challenge to keep grounded and your head above the water. Venturing further into my 40s, I am becoming more aware of this struggle, and questions of what next.  What do I want the next chapter in life to look like, what story will it tell?

At the end of each day, what keeps me sane and going, are these 2 goofballs, and all their antics, barking, and playtime.

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.

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.

On our daily walk,
we follow the same worn trails,

make the same turns,
and pass the same trees.

That pond is empty,
covered with algae.

That one is home to
busy and noisy muskrats.

So many times we have
have come this way

that I follow the dogs
as they know where to go

which trail to take
which hill to climb.

Yet this is a new day
filled with nature

and there are infinite mysteries
in each leaf and grain of sand.

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Leaving behind the city
we pass the line separating
concrete and dirt path.

Recent snow has hardened and crunches
with each step.

I pause and silence myself
and hear ravens nearby.

I pause and hold my breath
and imagine what secrets are beneath the empty field.

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Snowshoeing on 03/02/14

I follow the packed trail others before me have taken. Winding through pine, poplar, and birch, it hugs the rocky shoreline. Up and down over boulders and outcroppings, the trial heads deep into the woods before I stop. An abandoned building overlooks the lake. Trees tower over the skewed roof and poke through glassless windows. Floorboards long ago rotted and disappeared, leaving nothing to prevent the forest from overtaking the cabin on the woods.

I continue north along the same trail which dips into a small frozen valley. In warmer months, a creek would fill this space and empty into Lake Superior. Now it is ice beneath 3 feet of snow. Trees bow in half ellipticals from each side and I pass beneath, careful not to break tree limbs, catch my backpack, or otherwise disturb what is here, and continue up the other side.

With empty and open mind I hear the voiceless tree and gently place my hand on its trunk. Eyes closed. When opened I see the light drawn from before this projections and boundaries existed. I see the nothing that gave birth.


Cabin in the Woods
Cabin in the Woods