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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Meditation in a Time of Plague

Stand before it, the Life-Tree: of all trees, biggest and best.

Step in under those Branches.

Lie down beside that mighty Bole, beneath those spreading Branches.

Lie down, look up, and see.

See the Bole beside you.

See the Branches above you, raying out in each direction.

See the Circle of Branches around, the great round rim of twig-tip.

Bole, Branch, Circle. Do you see?

Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

I don't think I've ever been so happy to welcome the Spring as I was this year. This Winter was so cold, so long that Spring really was a dim memory. Even warm-ish days didn't get my trust. I have only recently packed up my winter clothes, and despite a lot of mowing and weed whacking, I haven't started putting in my garden quite yet. Because the Winter was inside me by the time the snow and ice and freezing weather finally retreated. A hard Winter, like the one we just had, will wear on you, make you feel tired all over, a deep tired that will take more than just a few warm afternoons to shift. This is perfect for introspection and meditation, but beyond the usual quiet of the Descent, I realized that Winter had settled into me, settled into my bones and muscles the way it had frozen the lake and bound the land under snow. Even when the snow started to melt, the chill didn't leave me. It was hard to remember what sweet breezes had felt like, with icy blasts blowing in my face.

This Winter brought lots of worry and sorrow to my door. The stress became part of the the work of Winter: the slogging through the cold, the shoveling of snow, the march through short days of low, subdued energy. Even as the first gentle days showed up, when the world seemed to be a closed fist slowly opening, it was hard to trust it, hard to sink into the promise of warm days to come. It was hard to feel the Spring, or I should say, it was hard to allow myself to feel Spring's optimism and new beginnings. The Winter had settled into my mood, and it was hard to generate much “fire” for anything beyond getting through the day. I wasn't depressed, exactly, but a certain limitation had settled down on my thinking, like a visor. I stopped thinking about a time when I might have more energy, more enthusiasm, when I felt passion and excitement for any of my fallow projects. The world outside was monochrome, all pewter and taupe, and even as the light came back, and the land opened up, my thoughts remained dull like that as well. When the sky got even darker with the brooding rain clouds of early Spring, my thoughts did not leap ahead to the sweet green season yet to come. They remained in the inky black nimbus clouds that poured sleet and hail down, that made tame creeks open up into roiling muddy rapids, and turned the stone cold ground into brown mud. Dark weather for dark moods.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Deep White and Silent World

We were lucky this time, here in the southern highlands of Appalachia.  The punishing winds and the ice and the sleet passed us by, as surely as if we had daubed the doorjamb with lamb's blood.  What we got was a lazy eighteen-hour snowfall.

From the snug window, we watched the small light flakes pepper the landscape, relentless, implacable. There were separate periods of light or no snow and then the snow-globe world would return. The streetlight reflecting on the snow made the front room almost as bright as day.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Byron Ballard
    Byron Ballard says #
    Yeah, you know...the usual. I am loving the Resilient Gardener, by the way, and hope to be able to pick your brain for the Women's
  • Diotima
    Diotima says #
    Yawn...is it really time to wake up? Oh, right. I have to plan the garden. They say food prices are going to go way up this year.

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