On a walk last week, my 16-year-old and I heard the honking of some large white birds flying overhead. “Look! The cranes are back,” I said. “Wait, no…or are they herons?” Telling the difference between large, white water birds with long legs is not my strong suit. After doing some googling later that day, my teenager …
Coming out of the woods yesterday, I crossed paths with a woman and her dog. Though I didn’t know her, I said hi and she said hello in response. I continued along the snowy path and had made my way about 20 yards/meters before I heard her call to me. I turned towards her and she shouted, “Thank you for saying hello. It means so much to me these days. I try to say hi to everyone I meet on my walks, and you’re the first person who beat me to it in a long time.”
As I write this, I’m turning 50. It feels like quite a milestone. The stone tablet, placed along the roadside, marking the distance along the path of life, probably closer to the end than the beginning.
As the dog and I walked down the street early this morning, I heard the scraping of a car windshield, heralding this season’s first frost. I’m reminded that it’s the autumnal equinox today, and I brace myself for the coming shorter days with a sense of dread by pulling my sweater tighter around me.
This past winter I spent a long weekend on retreat in stillness and good company. The theme of the retreat was hidden seeds, the way nature can look as if it’s sleeping or even dead, when it is in fact gathering strength and getting ready to burst forth when the conditions are favorable.