Friday, January 2, 2015

the gaze of winter


by Linda Pastan

We are waiting for snow
the way we might wait for a train
to arrive with its cold cargo—
it is late already, but surely
it will come.

We are waiting for snow
the way we might wait
for permission
to breathe again.

For only the snow
will release us, only the snow
will be a letting go, a blind falling
towards the body of earth
and towards each other.

And while we wait at this window
whose sheer transparency
is clouded already
with our mutual breath,

it is as if our whole lives depended
on the freezing color
of the sky, on the white
soon to be fractured
gaze of winter.

Yesterday, New Year's day, we went for a walk on the trails by Whitemud Creek, which is about a 10 minute drive from home. It was warm out, though grey, and we all felt the need to stretch our legs. We've been waiting for snow, and it has come overnight and is falling and blowing and cold while I write this, but yesterday it was just above freezing out, and there were even puddles here and there on the road.

We sauntered on the slippery hard packed snow of the trails, taking photos, stopping to feel the bark of trees with our hands. Chloe took iPhone photos, and I had brought my camera.

We looked at bits of moss, and peered into the small homes of unknown creatures. 

I took quite a few photos, but the light was odd, and I didn't think they were turning out. Now I wish I'd take a few more. Especially more of Rob and Chloe.

Rob took a couple of me.

There's a sweet tradition of decorating trees in the river valley.

We spent quite a bit of time taking photos of these quick little birds. I had assumed they were chickadees when we were out there and because they were hanging out with the usual brownish fellows, but these had such a bluish tint to them.

It was a soothing beginning to our year. Today marks the beginning of a return to routine, as I head into work this afternoon. Chloe will resume school on Monday. As for Rob, he's been working all through. He even worked for 5 hours on Christmas day, which he said made him feel better.

While we enjoy every bit of the holiday season, it's certainly hard on the introvert's soul. What's more difficult I think is giving up the routine, which I think most people do enjoy leaving behind. But for us, our routine of working and being alone, and really having our thoughts to ourselves, is very integral to our inner serenity and general happiness.


  1. Hi Shawna,
    Is it a nuthatch? That was my first thought when I saw the photos.

  2. Thanks, yes, Facebook agrees: nuthatch :)

  3. Thank you for the comment related to introversion. I felt calmer just reading it. I am working now to get back into those comforting routines and quiet time that are essential to recharging and centering my soul. Also, what a sweet tradition - lovely ornaments on the bush. A hint of color against the backdrop of winter.

    1. Thanks Brenda! And here's to quiet time!

  4. Oh those photogenic Lemays! And that bark - makes me think of Kaffe Fassett's knitting patterns. . . he gets his ideas from nature often. My former mother-in-law always called those birds nu-thatches rather than nut-hatches. Still cracks me up when I think of it!

    1. Sweet memory of the x-mo-in-law :) Cute!


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