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.

A red cabin in the woods
beneath the pine trees
sagging from the winter snow,
is all I need for solitude.

Hide and seek with the morning sun as we emerge form a deep freeze in MN.

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.

As concrete melts into dirt and grass
and skyscrapers become pine trees,
I fall into the snow and promise
myself to stay until spring.

As the snow continues to fall,
I am covered until I become
the snow and the earth and
the roots of spring’s growth.

What was a full mind
is replaced with snow,
ice, and water dispalcing
everything until there is nothing.

What does she see across
the snow covered field,

in the distance or nearby?
Is the coyote following us today?

Silence broken by a single raven
leaving one tree top and heading east to another.

Silence until we hear crunching snow
and snapping twigs.

What is that in the dense woods?
We become still and listen,

looking for shadows and movement
aware of the universe surrounding us.

The pine tree lined path
covered with early season snow
beckons for me to follow
and with eyes closed.

The black morning hides tall pine trees
rising against the star filled sky.

The silence broken only by the canines response
to the pack of coyotes and their screams.

A heavy mist hugs the wet ground
and stones glistened with the slightest light.

Through the drifting smoke
the scattered sun brings to life the forest

illuminated in halos captured in photos
that will help remember the peace and quiet.


I have not been more at peace
nor been closer to my true being
than our time here, in the wilds
of Alaska, surrounded by mountains,
glaciers, and each other.