The ground was sparkly this morning. Seemed appropriate for the season. Christmas is less than two weeks away, still I don’t believe I have gotten into the spirit of the thing yet. Perhaps I expect too much from this time of year. I really expect it to be a time of peace and joy, but it rarely is. I suppose that says more about where my head is than anything else.
So, today I will take it upon myself to go out and create some peace and a little bit of joy. It’s not too late.
The ground is frozen hard. I stand waiting for the dogs to do their thing, but then I notice my shadow on the side of the house watching me. It is bulky and blunt. This spurs a memory from long ago: a boy waiting in the cold for a school bus, notices his long shadow stretching down the road, watching him. Then, as now, our shadows shapeshift to match our lives.
“O windswept land you know my name. I see it in every yellowed grass, every hurried cloud.”
Our mountain hides behind rapid clouds as a colder air pushes in. While I sit on the back porch warming in a setting sun. Noticing that the yellows that recently graced the desert have gone brown. Change is a given.
There is a brief moment of pensive sadness as I mourn the passing of another season — this constant rushing of time. I begin a baseless argument in my mind, when two ravens fly over weaving about in a flirtatious pattern making tiny squawking sounds. They leave in their wake a kind of joy. A simple reminder that we all need to play, however that may look.
And, as if on cue, a breeze picks up and fills the air with chamisa seeds. Carefree and wild, white and fluffy, they scatter about like snow. A harbinger perhaps of the real snow that will fall in a couple of days. It will be the first significant accumulation of the season. And with it will come the magic that only snow can seem to awaken.
But for now, the sun drops below the horizon and the sky sings with reds and golds and colors unnamed. It is a celebration of this day for all who dare see. And when it is dark, Venus, Jupiter, and Saturn will stack up in the southern sky to herald the night. Each slowly following the sun below the horizon. All is truly movement. All is as it should be. In this, we can know peace.
To quote the gentle soul and poet, Mary Oliver, (who left us this year)
“Ten times a day something happens to me like this – some strengthening throb of amazement – some good sweet empathic ping and swell. This is the first, the wildest and the wisest thing I know: that the soul exists and is built entirely out of attentiveness.”
Seasons greetings and may your days be ones of attentiveness. Feed your soul.
Pat Greenwell is an artist. A painter and sometimes poet, he has been searching the New Mexico desert for several years now, looking for lost possibilities and probable intentions.
"...mostly stream-of-consciousness stuff, you know...