I trekked into our forest of statuesque pines and hardy oaks during Winter Storm Pax on Thursday, seeking space for a measure of mindful contemplation. With a sort of quiet intention I placed one snow-shoe cradled foot in front of the other, each step a permanent impression upon the newly fallen blanket of alabaster white. It suggested the life of a woodland pioneer. A rhythm grew from the cadence of every stride, allowing me to take a full breath of the refreshingly crisp air as I went forward. My soul: invigorated.
Snow ignites my inner being. Nostalgia rushes through my body. Memories of my adolescence, spending countless hours frolicking in the frozen ground-cover. Igloos. Cross country skiing. Snowball fights. To say that winter is my favorite season would be a gross understatement. I live in a temperate climate where the coldest season of the year is seen most often as a burden. I am not burdened; I am refreshed, connected.
As I my began my journey home I happened upon a solitary cardinal near the creek, its crimson plume adding just a touch more magnificence to my day. He sat perched upon the branch of a coniferous sapling, guarding against the blustery force of the bitter wind. As I turned to leave, our eyes met. It felt familiar, as though we had always been kith and kin. And in that moment nothing else mattered. We were home, experiencing our wintry New England afternoon together; perhaps in spite of the weather’s intensity, we embodied its peace.