Sunday, January 26, 2014

Joy is the Balance

How cold it was this morning! The sun not risen, sharp winds howling across the limbs of creaking trees. One hesitates at the trailhead when considering another way.

Though later, deeper in the forest, I began to read the sanskrit of wildlife in snowy tabula rasa and forgot about choice altogether. A fox coming up from the river, a deer - a small one - stepping from this glade to that and even faint mouse tracks abruptly ending in a violent snow swirl indicative of owl wings. What did H. say years ago about stumbling on evidence of the unheard screams of the dying?

Well, I remember watching snakes in the garden as a child, unable to look away. And later still letting trout in the shallows nibble at my toes. Happiness is what we can bear, and joy is the balance in the clean hands of God.

When I am not attentive, frost heaves beneath my feet crunch and I fall - forward into snow or down further to rock. How often one forgets their walking stick and wishes that they hadn't! We are all in motion, and that is our only home.

I remember years ago telling a woman I'd just met if Heaven didn't include mirror balls then I wasn't going and she said I don't think you're going anyway, mirror balls or not. Always I return to motel rooms - in Albany, in Saint Louis, the one in Waycross, Georgia. She recorded a dream of pottery shards and I stayed three years to watch it play out.

Past the fire pond more deer tracks. A single poplar leaf lay like an overturned moccassin pointing north. One waits on the mail as if it were still possible to be surprised.

Turning back I heard the tenuous two note spring song of chickadees following one another up the cold hill and broke out myself in a scratchy song. One struggles to avoid projection yet who else but you could appreciate the loveliness of birch trees at dawn, coldest morning of the year so far?

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