My puppy looked very majestic on our walk through the snow today, so I thought I would share:
The woods outside my door
Are begging me to plunge into their
Snow covered depths,
With fresh fallen powder
To crunch beneath my boots.
The still and frozen air
Is heavy with the silence
Of a thousand stifled thoughts.
My heart thuds quietly in my chest
And my breath fogs the space around me
Before being whisked away on the breeze.
Fallen trees and hardy saplings
Provide an obstacle course for my
Hike among the bowing trees.
Nature holds its breath
On the late December day,
Its furious frozen temper
And for a moment the world
Is at peace
While I am left longing for the peace of your presence.
I looked out my window one night, wanting to wish among the stars, and found that they were hidden by a multitude of glowing lamps. I tried to remember where I had found my glittering friends before, squinting to just maybe find their shape in the heavens. Then I wondered if they had fallen, had tripped across the indigo blanket and landed softly on the earth, and where they might be walking, to find their way back home. Do the city streets confuse them, the strangely colored lights and unyielding bewilderment of being? Do they run into people, only to be brushed off with any attempted apologies? Can they see their home, their glorious nightly dance happening without them? And do they miss it? I wanted to wish upon a star, and when one fell I cried instead. I spoke many words, and aimed to connect the dots back to the stratosphere, but I lost myself and found a home in a forgotten wilderness instead. They who called those wilds their hearth brought me in to dwell, and gave me room to survey my new milieu. I asked them once, if they had seen that fallen star that I had been chasing since that fateful night. They turned to me and said:
“My dear, we are all fallen stars here, and you the brightest one in centuries.”
She tied her boat off and started to climb the cliffs. She knew no one survived what lay beyond the clouds, but still she climbed. Step after step, pulling and pushing her way through boulder fields and open rock faces. And she thought of Olympus, and the gods, and wondered if they missed their lofty hearth. She wondered if Hephaestus and Hades could hear her traipsing over their heads, and if they laughed or shook their head at her advancement. Did they fear the wrath of the king, or were they simply content to while away the nights and days watching the world above move on without them? And did the queen ever fear a dethroning, or was she content to sit at the foot of the throne? She clambered through the air, thick with moisture and wintry particles. She could feel her temperature falling despite the exertions, her breath coming out in harsh pants. Was Zeus watching and waiting for an opportune moment, filling the world with heavy air? Did he and Poseidon work together to conquer the planet? Did they fall together or fall apart? She reached the summit and looked around. Without warning, the clouds were swept away to reveal the whole of the earth, from one edge to the other, and she knew why no one returned. Was this how Atlas felt, was this the view he had from the stars?
Dust rises in puffs around my feet.
Three years drought has drained this land of moisture and left it as dry as the timber that flares to life in an inferno.
(The Sahara has nothing on this crackling hilltop.)
Sun beating down on my neck and sweat rolling across my skin, leaving my body burning, slick, and salty.
No water to be seen for miles. Why had I forgotten the rucksack in the car?
I pull myself over ledges and press on towards the top of the rocky hillside.
Scrapes across my palms are highlighted in the dirt covering my hands, and the back of my mind warns of possible sickness.
After what seems like hours, we see the bench that marks ‘End Of Trail’, and collapse with relief.
But then, oh then we look up and see the real summit.
Ten minutes later we stand on a boulder that balances high above the valley,
Three hundred and sixty degrees of view, a hundred miles in each direction.
Up here, the wind streaks around us.
(We’re like Jack and Rose, only there’s no ocean, just a one thousand foot drop.)
We stand on one of the Seven Sisters, eyes closed and nothing above us, only the sun and veiled stars.
Not even the falcons stand with us.
I spent the weekend hiking in New Hampshire! We saw nearly every type of weather in those 48 hours, and I am fairly certain this was one of the greatest weekends of my life. The hike up to Carter Notch was brutal, with the wind blasting us from every direction. It was loads of fun though, and oh so beautiful. The landscape was glorious! I apologize for not having more photos – it felt like one of those times where it was more important to live in the moment than to try to capture it.
Hiking back down was crazy; about half an hour into it, there were 6 of us far ahead of the peloton, singing and marching and sliding and laughing. With thirty inches of snow on the ground, we expected it to be frigid, but the sun decided to make an appearance, so we were roasting in our hiking gear. Eventually we stopped, and the girls stripped down to sports bras/running capris/boots while the guys went shirtless, and we continued hiking like that. (It was quite liberating, funnily enough) Then, we reached a spot in the trail that sloped down to the river, which was still mostly covered in snow, and one of the guys said “That looks really nice right about now,” and what did the rest of us do? Agree of course! Long story short, 5 minutes later we were all standing on the edge of this dam in our underthings, taking turns jumping into the barely-above-freezing-temperature water and pulling each other out. I can’t say when I’ve had more fun. Then we headed down the rest of the mountain (wearing clothes of course) and drove the three hours back to Boston, back to reality.
I hope everyone’s Mondays have been great!