Tag Archives: Winter

24 Views of Squak Mountain: Third Week of February

The time of the warring seasons is here.

Spring battles Winter in a long, drawn out fight.

The conclusion is inevitable. We know who the winner will be.

Perhaps that’s what makes the Winter seem harsher now: the desperation in its fight.

Spring days and Winter nights.

Clear, glorious sun giving warmth.

Drenching, dreary rain chilling to the bone.

Hardest of all is the sense of dislocation in this all. Am I in Winter or am I in Spring? Should my body be hibernating and hunkering down, or going out and expansively exploring?

Do I feel the joy of new life? Or mourn the death and destruction I still see?

It is a time that forces onto us a hard practice: to be present with the unresolvable conflict. To feel joy and sorrow at once, equally. To switch from Winter to Spring and back again with as much ease as we can muster.

I walk with my dog in the woods under the bright sun and hear the chirping of newly born birds.

I walk with my dog in the woods in the drenching rain and see the fallen trees and washed out trails.

Life within Death within Life within Death.

The season of infinity: the snake that eats its tail.

24 Views of Squak Mountain: Mid-January

The Long Dark.

That’s what I call this time now.

The Winter Holidays have ended and Spring feels far away. Daylight is increasing….but that feels theoretical: you won’t notice it until Spring.

It’s just dark.

And cold.

When the sun is out, we lose the insulation of the clouds and so it’s even colder.

When the clouds are here, it’s warmer but dark to the point of dusk all day.

Take your pick: you’ll get one or the other or sometimes both.

Most of all, everything is static, frozen in time and place (sometimes literally).

The death of the Fall and the destruction of early Winter are done. And the damage and aftermath lie all around us.

The mountain beauty is cold, severe, harsh. Reminding us that people really do die in the wilderness out here.

The harder the winter, the greater the promise of Spring. But that’s a long ways away.

For now, all we can do is keep moving, even against the cold, static background of Winter.

Because to stop is to die and to die and die a slow, cold, wasting death.

Sometimes the greatest thing we can do is just get up and move that day.