I became a mother in January. My mother drove me through the freezing dark night, sometime between midnight and dawn, to the hospital, my doula following in her own car behind. My labor, strong and painful and many hours old, seemed to suspend itself for the duration of the drive, so worried was I that my mom, driving an unfamiliar car through an unfamiliar city, would lose the way. Hours later, she held one side of me and the doula the other, straining with me as the nurse instructed: “Push. Push.” [Read More…]
Dear Reader: This is a reprint of my post two years ago. This experience had such an impact on my life, that I’d like to share it again with all of you. I would suggest that if you have the opportunity to go winter animal-tracking, do it.
We went on an animal tracking expedition this past weekend, through first-winter snow and frigid temperatures. While I could complain about my frozen toes and hands, and my unhappiness with the extreme (and sudden) weather conditions, it was my experience of seeing the unknown which has had the greatest impact on me.
I feel exuberant to have found so many clues I had previously overlooked and
unnerved to have never known this. In fact, I feel so completely astounded that I could have lived this long and not seen/known/ experienced this, that I want to share it with all of you – no, make that scream it from the hilltops: All is not (just) as we see!
Could it be that we all too often miss the signs/signals/information, the minutiae in our lives necessary to fully comprehend the greater elements and, perhaps, the grander plan for our lives?
(Open full essay to see photos!)
I don’t mean in the classic sense, obviously, because it hasn’t physically caused me to scream obscenities at complete strangers for hours on end (well, not often, anyway) and it hasn’t lasted nine months (yet), but rather in a more metaphysical sense – in the way that people seem to deal with them both.
We seem to take an awful lot of pride in our pain.
It’s almost like a competition. We compare birthing stories the same way we compare winter stories – how much weight we gained, how much snow we got, how long we were in labor, how cold it was, how long we pushed, how high the winds were, how much pain we were in, and, er, how much pain we were in. [Read More…]
I look at the pristine fallen snow and feel somewhat melancholy that there are no little footprints in the yard, no snowman or snow angels. Since I now have adult children, the snow in my yard remains fluffy.
Looking at this unspoiled snow, I notice the immense silence in the air as the downy white flakes fall. The branches look like they have been coated with powdered sugar and I feel the cold start to sneak into my bones. The only marks left in the snow are made by my dog, Louie. I see his paw prints meander throughout the yard to his special area. There, the white snow is dotted with yellow and brown. [Read More…]
This winter, I’ve decided, has been a lot like childbirth.
I don’t mean in the classic sense, obviously, because it hasn’t physically caused me to scream obscenities at complete strangers for hours on end (well, not often, anyway) and it hasn’t lasted nine months (yet), but rather in a more metaphysical sense – in the way that people seem to deal with them both. [Read More…]
The Winter of 2011-2012 has been what us Midwesterners would call tolerable, to date. Our weather has been mild and the kids haven’t had any snow days, yet! My kids are beginning to show some signs of maturity, yes, even at eleven years old, therefore our family activities have changed, too. [Read More…]
“I do an awful lot of thinking and dreaming about things in the past and the future – the timelessness of the rocks and the hills – all the people who have existed there. I prefer winter and fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape – the loneliness of it, the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it, the whole story doesn’t show.”
― Andrew Wyeth
I hate the cold, with a passion. Spring, summer, and early autumn, with their warmth and lushness and never-ending sounds, are my times. No matter how hard I try to reframe it, I loathe winter for its dark, bitter bleakness. [Read More…]