My goodness how the time has flewn. How did it get so late so soon?" ~ Dr. Seuss
And, as it stamped its huge, icy footprint upon the landscape, I wondered if nature not only sensed this season's gathering cold and darkness, but also the festive (if not frenzied) mood associated with this month's religious and cultural holidays.
I suppose if you believe in the "interconnectedness" of the universe, it makes sense that the seismic, atmospheric ripples caused by Christmas and Hanukah should be as palpable to Mother Nature as they are to the billions of people worldwide who celebrate them.
As a child, I happily embraced this interpendence of all life forms, and also assigned some very human thoughts and feelings to them. Having a limited range of references or experiences, I think most kids do that.
Ex: A broken tree branch made me wonder if the damaged tree was in pain, while the last rose of the season blooming in our garden triggered my admiration for its strength and bravery. And so it was in my childhood. (Be Forewarned: The universe always finds and recognizes that kind of compassion - as do all the stray and hurt animals within a 10-mile radius.)
"Look deep into nature and then you will understand everything better," ~ Albert Einstein
And what splendid gifts they were!
Whether it was the shimmering stars sparkling through a black spider web of overhead branches, a wispy crescent moon dripping silver orbs of moon dust from her curved lips or the wind’s willowy whisper telling a story to the frigid night air - Jeffrey Woods generously shared her priceless gifts.
And, while I couldn’t actually decide if I was forcing myself to see these gifts or if nature inherently knew it was the right month to give them up, it didn’t seem to matter anymore.
Sometimes, it’s just not a good idea to question the gifts or the gift giver.
- Families of deer huddled together foraging for food.
- Vivid red cardinals flitting back-and-forth from frozen ground to stately evergreens.
- The fragrant breath of giant pines and the soft footfalls on their dropped needles.
- The frozen, yet welcoming solitude of a winter forest.
- An invigorating cold that burns your nose and your toes, but makes you feel so alive.
- December's shape-shifting shadows that cast chilling spells within a barren landscape.
- A surreal connection to a life force so much bigger than yourself.
- A variety of footprints creating a written history of what happened before you arrived.
- Being the first visitor in the woods after a snowfall. (This has no comparison).
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