#5 winter solstice 2012

I told myself as I walked before sunset, this is as good as it gets. A short brisk walk around the pond with the dog. I left the studio in pitch black and my knees snap, crackle, and pop up the hill. Then, as if by magic, the outdoor light turned on. It was getting cold and Warren had just flicked on the lights. The dome of dark descends too early for my natural rhythms but I'll go on walking my tune, I'll go on cleaning pots, painting lines and listening to the geese, ducks, and swans on the pond.

"Tell yourself
as it gets cold and gray falls from the air
that you will go on
walking, hearing
the same tune no matter where
you find yourself--
inside the dome of dark
or under the cracking white
of the moon's gaze in a valley of snow.
Tonight as it gets cold
tell yourself
what you know which is nothing
but the tune your bones play
as you keep going. And you will be able
for once to lie down under the small fire
of winter stars.
And if it happens that you cannot
go on or turn back
and you find yourself
where you will be at the end,
tell yourself
in that final flowing of cold through your limbs
that you love what you are.

-- Mark Strand, Lines for Winter


Lovely post! I do so enjoy your solstice posts.

Hi Catherine,
This is my favorite ever.

Reading the winter solstice series of postings gives me the jolt. I am reminded of a similar jolt I feel each time when your freshly fired pot, one by one, comes into my hands, warm yet cruddy and rough to the touch. Underneath that undesirable coating is the beauty I long for. A seemingly ordinary walk at twilight can only be extraordinary if the walker feels with each physical step, an emotional connection with nature and self.

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