Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Winter keeps being what it is, in spite of me

Every once in a while, I wake to the feeling that I haven't been myself in quite some time. When my mind is in that place, I think perhaps Kentucky's been my cocoon, how I hope to leave it as a butterfly!

I hiked the pinnacles after work. What a beautiful mess it was, with thorny brambles and uprooted trees cast across the muddy path. While walking, my out-of-shape body greedily gobbled at oxygen. I felt the cold air in me. I had a sense that the exertion I was experiencing was akin to that felt swimming in the ocean. I remembered a day when I'd gone alone and sat in the wind with the sun laying over me, sand forming crystals on my skin. My nose and throat felt like I'd had an inadvertent dose of briny water. I let myself believe in it for a moment, knowing all the while that what my sinuses were clogged with was "Kentucky sludge." A side effect of the winter weather.

There's an open patch about halfway to the east pinnacle. It's a wonder how it changes from one month to the next. Today it was a field of tall brown grass and flowerless stems. Their dry rustling sang to the silence. I'd say the place was lonely, but every where I looked were watching hills rolling over one another, and swaying trees; all made shadowy by the unusually unfettered sun, and cutting their shapes into the achingly blue sky. An old tree, bleached bone white, lay lifeless and long across the field. I perched on the base of it's broad trunk, faced the sun and closed my eyes. "There is nothing better than this moment," a whisper told me, "how happy I am to be present in it." With my eyes closed, the sounds and sensations brought me back to a sense of the ocean. So different, but so much the same in the way each location, combined with Presence can simultaneously lift the spirit above this earth and bind it gratefully to the body.

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