Thursday, January 24, 2008

Morning pictures from the neighborhood

Mornings in my part of the Berkshires are quiet. You can hear the wind, the movement of the trees, the sounds of the ice and snow, the birds. The winter air is crisp and with and edge that absent of wind is just cold and not necessarily biting. The light is soft as the sun just begins to come over the ridge lines, facing the morning moon.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Winter Colors

I have been writing an entry about my observations of winter colors. Here is how I started out….

It is obvious that the vibrant colors of summer and fall fade off when we get to winter but the brightness, because of the lack of leaves, intensifies. Add some snow on the ground and things get washed out.

The clouds and sky are grayer, the blue sky more muted, the browns aren’t accented with vibrant green but just sit there with brown and an occasional yellow.

This is where I got stuck. When I look about and take it all in, it isn’t bleak at all but when I try to find the words to physically describe them they come across as blah.

Looking out the window the colors are muted but the definition of the branches on the bushes and trees is so precise. The view of the mountains when I take a walk is exquisite in its preciseness. Not the soft green look of summer or vibrant oranges and reds of fall or bright new green of spring but the well defined lines of branches, of trees the contrasting colors of rock and tree and ground and patches of snow. In some areas the snow is thick but the lines of the trees show above them. The trails up the sides of the ridgeline draw your imagination through the woods. The view of the distant Mt. Greylock so clear against its surroundings.

To this there is a different beauty

Monday, January 14, 2008

Winter returns................

5 inches of snow, enough to cancel schools and slow everyone down. A day later the heavy clumps still cling to branches adding bulk to the stick figure trees.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

January thaw

The past week has been January thaw. An experience in New England then the temperature moderates and most of the snow melts. Sort of an intermission from winter. Too early to be spring, too warm to be winter.

This past week has also been rainy and the air has been warm. People are out and about more and enjoying the sun. The smaller animals are roaming for food nibbling at the grass and foraging the leftovers from the bird feeder.

I find the snow eating fogs fascinating. When the air becomes warmer and so saturated with moisture it forms a dense fog that seems to reach down to the snow. It is difficult to see the air from the snow. When the fog is gone much of the snow has also gone. The snowmen have all melted, their garments piled on the ground in a heap.

But as with all intermissions they soon end. Tomorrow predictions of up to a foot of snow, winter advisories, talk of snow day. Winter returns but spring is all the closer.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Coming home..................

At the end of the day traveling home....welcome to the Berkshires. 50 degrees in January


Last week while driving into work I noticed two mini rainbows. They were straight up and down, an arrow to the ground. As the highway went up and down and around the hills and in and out of valleys at least one of them was always in view, one in the east and one to the south.

Rainbows seem to be a symbol of hope, always attracting attention for their beauty and simplicity. These definitely caught my attention. A bright point in the day.

Friday, January 4, 2008


Journey…..for some it is a trip loaded with baggage of all types, on the road for long period of time , always asking the question…..are we there yet? It is the way to a destination. Yet for many others the journey is not to a destination, if a destination is even known, it is life that happens along the way. On these sorts of journeys the destination may seem very clear at first but the outcome changes and the journey becomes the personal growth and discovery that we experience while finding our way. Sometimes the destination is cloaked in a fog and we don’t know what or where it is, but we know that we just can’t stay where we are and we move on. It is a tribute to the strength and tenacity of the human spirit that we don’t just throw our hands up when the way becomes confusing or the journey becomes physically or emotionally difficult. We feel that we have no choice but to persevere….to keep moving.

We do have a choice…we could give up or we could just look for the easiest way out or we could go back even if going back is not a good thing or is a painfull thing. Sometimes even something bad can seem better than the unknown because it is "comfortable", it is the familiar. Or we could just be in denial that we are on are way to anywhere. "Life, please go away and leave me alone" .

Out of the ashes of pain and despair we see hope and like a beacon this leads us along this great journey.

Along the way on our journey we can become in tuned with the world around us, those subtle changes that can measure progress. We can open ourselves to receive coaching and “cheering” from others along the way….we can travel in silence but be observant of all that is around us and of the many lessons and simple gifts to be picked up. In this silence….we are not alone. We can also help others along the way.

Or we can choose to be silent in this journey…..angry at each challenge that we encounter and sullen to all we meet, as if they were the cause of our despair. We still are not alone but we would just prefer that we be left alone to wallow.

But will we know when we have arrived?

If we have become one with the journey and of the lessons of the journey, it does not matter if we have arrived because of the many gifts and lessons we have received and because the many another journey awaits us.

Or if we fight and resent each journey then we never really finish the trip because even though we have arrived we continue to carry all of the heavy baggage around and that eventually makes us worn out and bitter.

We have a choice……….

May you have a good journey…..May you be aware….May you be at peace……May you be at peace.

Thursday, January 3, 2008


Its a cold day. Definitely in the minus territory over night and a minus 5 this morning. The air is crisp and almost brittle. The snow in the trees gives an almost sureal reflection of the light.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Snowmen for Caleb

Vacationing in Wellfleet this summer I was struck by the various signs around calling for prayer and good thoughts for Caleb Potter. Injured in a scateboarding accident, he has been in and out of Mass. General since early July. I have stayed connected through a wonderful blog that his mom (along with friends and family) keep up. She not only shares how Caleb is doing but also how she and her family is fairing and the life lessons she is learning from this journey and passing them on as a teacher. I have never met Caleb and may never meet him, yet I find that I am drawn to this great challenge and his recovery and send good thoughts several times a day. I am also drawn by the response of those in his community and in the international community of good souls who also read this blog and comment with support and share experiences.

I believe people in general look to be good and caring, even with someone they won't know or most likely will never meet and that touches me in a way that is difficult to explain. If you are reading this, say a prayer for Caleb Potter and keep him in your thoughts. And also say a prayer for those like Caleb who don't have such a strong support network.

New Years Day 2008

New Years day......a day of reflection on the past, a day making lists, of planning and a day of relaxing.

The snow continued today after taking a break and the sun did break through for a bit. The wind caught the snow and whipped it it up in wisps around the trees and hills.

The great spirit dancing !