Can’t find the forest for the trees


For much of this past week, the weariness of it all has been a heavy load. Several nights, I awakened to Don’s hand on my forehead, and knew I had been yelling in my sleep again–my subconscious trying to sort out what I couldn’t do in the daylight. The stagnant air inversion matched my mood perfectly. In the meager number of hours of daylight this time of year, all the lamps had to be kept on inside the house. Then, along came the morning of this photograph. The fog was gone, the air was still, the temperature pleasant, and off I went to find the sunrise. Watching it come up, and shine golden through the trees, my own fog lifted and I felt the lightness of such a beautiful morning. I remembered the Winter Solstice is a little more than a week away, and nothing can stop the return of light to each day. And, with the vaccine approved, I am allowing myself to imagine being with my loved ones again. It will take some time, just as winter takes its own time, but warm, sunny days will surely come again.

It was a beautiful winter’s morning yesterday, with an inch of snow covering the ground and the sky was painted that unique winter grey-blue. It was soft and quiet on my morning walk, and I swear I heard winter birds that I’ve not noticed before now. I walked out to the head of the lake and couldn’t believe how golden the willow branches have become. I saw a small gathering of white swans, tucking their long necks in sleep, on still water at the edge of the ice. By the fireside, late in the afternoon, I watched L’heure bleue through the glass French doors. In spite of everything, it was another lovely day to behold. As John likes to say, “Nature always comes through.”

White-Eyes, by Mary Oliver

In winter
    all the singing is in
         the tops of the trees
             where the wind-bird

with its white eyes
    shoves and pushes
         among the branches.
             Like any of us

he wants to go to sleep,
    but he’s restless—
         he has an idea,
             and slowly it unfolds

from under his beating wings
    as long as he stays awake.
         But his big, round music, after all,
             is too breathy to last.

So, it’s over.
    In the pine-crown
         he makes his nest,
             he’s done all he can.

I don’t know the name of this bird,
    I only imagine his glittering beak
         tucked in a white wing
             while the clouds—

which he has summoned
    from the north—
         which he has taught
             to be mild, and silent—

thicken, and begin to fall
    into the world below
         like stars, or the feathers
             of some unimaginable bird

that loves us,
    that is asleep now, and silent—
         that has turned itself
             into snow.

with its white eyes 
    shoves and pushes 
         among the branches. 
             Like any of us 


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