TRIUMPH OF SPIRIT IN LOVE, NATURE & ART

Posts tagged “Winter

The Light Within

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December is my favorite time of year.  In this month of darkness, in this the darkest month, the light of the human spirit shines forth in a fullness shown by so many, in so many ways.  As the days grow shorter, houses and trees are decorated, and snow falls.  In the hushed silence of the nights, lights shine in windows, and the beauty is shared by all.  For this season of giving brings the festivals of lights: Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanza.  Each tradition incorporates light in its ceremonies and decorations.

In December’s darkness we light lights.  For we are beings of light.  A light glows within each one of us.  And, at the most basic level, we are beings of light because we are made from stardust.  Perhaps that is why the stars hold such majesty for us– we are made from star material.

Einstein said: “A human being is part of the whole, called by us the ‘Universe”– a part limited in time and space.  He experiences himself, his thoughts, and feelings, as something separated from the rest– a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness.  This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest us.  Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”  We are all cut from the same cloth and our inner light unites us.

And in this holiday season we behold the night sky as shepherds did two thousand years ago on the birth of the holy infant, in a stable like the one down the road where my donkey friend lives.  That night a star lit the whole sky to guide the shepherds, and on these deep, long, silent nights as we light our houses, our candles, our trees, let us look inside ourselves and find the glow that may guide us to The Light

A holy Hanukkah, a magical Christmas and the ecstasy of Sadhguru to all for the New Year!  May we awaken from Maya and realize the wonders we are… for inside each of us burns the Sacred Light of the Universe.


A Barn in Winter

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Bare branches
yearning towards
turquoise sky
with fast floating
sunlit white clouds
white above
white below
the snow
hides the land
of insects
and mice
and moles
and snakes
and in the vernal pool
next door
turtles sleep
in their hernaculum
while frogs lay
dormant in the mud
I sit in sleepy
surrender
glad to be
in our little hideaway
in the woods
of our young dreams
wondering
if we will all
awaken
to another Spring.

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When the Snows Come

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My husband and I sit in our living room with all the little still-intact dairy barn  windows showing flakes falling as if we are on ship at sea in a snowfall.  Except for the high ceiling the living room has the feeling of a ship cabin, our converted dairy barn, and I think it is most beautiful when the snow is falling.

The glass doors at the pentagon of the far end of the barn gives us perfect view of the suet bird feeder.  The bird feeder in winter is our television.  We watch male cardinals, bright red in the stark white, feed and contend with the beautiful, bullying blue jays.  And the more modest and gentle little juncos and sparrows touch our hearts with their humility.

Like many barns, ours was built near the road so we do get some traffic noise.  But in the meadow out back beyond the marsh and stream, we are far removed from the road and from all.  And when it snows, it is so beautiful in the quiet, looking at the animal tracks and feeling the spirits in the nearby now-graveless graveyard.  Our secret little piece of Paradise.  And to stand there in the silence, in the virgin white, and see the abstract patterns of the snow on the surrounding hundreds of trees is Divine.

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The Trees of Winter

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Every year what budded in autumn blossoms full blown in winter– my love affair with trees.  Trees that were drop-dead gorgeous in their fall colors are now bare, with the exception of evergreens and a few stray deciduous trees that refuse to relinquish their leaves.  Now the trees are stripped down to their souls and their souls sing a siren song to the universe.

The tops of trees lift my spirit; brushlike they paint the sky the baby pinks and blues of mornings,  and the majestic magentas and violets of day’s end.  Each tree has its signature shape against the sky, like a fingerprint or a snowflake, similar yet each unique.  Some treetops in their bare state are shaped like a fancy coiffure; others look like wrought iron filigree.  On distant mountains, against the snowy ground, some look like stubble on an old man’s unshaven face.

It is the colorful winter sky showing through, and showing off, the bare branches that woos me.  The bare curvaceous branches are stark, dark lines against the bright of day and the inky sky of  night.  These resplendent creatures are living lines that explode.  Branches tangle like the lines in a Jackson Pollock painting.  Others  curve in the sensuous lines of a Brancusi sculpture.  Buxom tree trunks stand strong surrounded by their dead blossoms and their burgeoning offspring like a Renaissance Madonna. In truth these trees are not like art at all.  Rather art imitates them– their beauty provides the timeless inspiration for artists, writers and poets of all ages and styles.

Trees not only inspire, they themselves are paragons of diversity.   One look out of a car window while driving on the Taconic and one can see squat pines alongside towering majestic firs, birches interspersed with maple and oak.  And together the different brown and tan barks interspersed with evergreens create not only a mosaic of contrasting colors, but display an example to inspire humans to live together in peaceful unity.

These beneficent beings carry the heavy, dark grey clouds of winter.  When it snows the tree trunks become canvases for the abstract patterns of windblown-snow, while the serpentine branches are outlined in white.  In ice storms their branches become chandeliers, each enveloped in glassine ice.  While in the melancholy of a winter rain, the branches become oiled skins of snakes weeping to the ground below. And finally, in the night sky, the branches hold the stars in their arms, those with leaves holding them in their hands, as they nurse the moon.

All trees,  no matter what their species, age or height, stand tall in proud humility, their arms reaching up to the Heavens to our Creator in prayer–  soft-spoken beings of peace and tranquility towering over us, while the little creatures race around distractedly below.

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Blessings of the Winter Solstice

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Christmas and Winter Solstice blessings to all those who have visited Moonside and especially to those to whom I was unable to respond due to physical or mental illness, a HUGE THANK YOU!!  

And to all… may you feel the joy of Christmas no matter what your circumstance, color, creed or faith and be blessed by health, happiness and peace in the New Year!

Love, Ellen

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Beings of Light

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December is my favorite time of year.  In this month of darkness, in this the darkest month, the light of the human spirit shines forth in a fullness shown by so many, in so many ways.  As the days grow shorter, houses and trees are decorated, and snow falls.  In the hushed silence of the nights, lights shine in windows, and the beauty is shared by all.  For this season of giving brings the festivals of lights: Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanza.  Each tradition incorporates light in its ceremonies and decorations.

A neighbor friend of mine who lives down the road, a donkey in his stable, reminds me of the story of another manger 2000 years ago.  And seeing him snug in his stable with snow on the ground gives the illusion that all is right in the world.  But all is not well.  Thousands know no peace in any season.  Yet even those living in the worst conditions show the light of the human spirit and celebrate the season of light in personal ways.  For the human spirit is indomitable.

In December’s darkness we light lights.  For we are beings of light.  A light glows within each one of us.  And, at the most basic level, we are beings of light because we are made from stardust.  Perhaps that is why the stars hold such majesty for us– we are made from star material.

Einstein said: “A human being is part of the whole, called by us the ‘Universe”– a part limited in time and space.  He experiences himself, his thoughts, and feelings, as something separated from the rest– a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness.  This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest us.  Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”  We are all cut from the same cloth and our inner light unites us.

And in this holiday season we behold the night sky as shepherds did two thousand years ago on the birth of the holy infant, in a stable like the one down the road where my donkey friend lives.  That night a star lit the whole sky to guide the shepherds, and on these deep, long, silent nights as we light our houses, our candles, our trees, let us look inside ourselves and find the glow that may guide us to The Light

A holy Hannukah, a magical Christmas and the ecstasy of Sadhguru to all for the New Year!  May we awaken from Maya and realize the wonders we are… for inside lives the sacred fire of Love.


And the Skys Are Crying

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The woods are crying
for they are bare and wet and cold.
Rain laps at the windows
as waves break on glass.
The last leaves fall
in this cataclysmic storm.
Relatives and friends hate
across a divide of evil
that each side sees
inside the other.
Fall is failing
as is our country.
We are in for a long
and harsh winter.


Dying, Lying Croci

This year the Croci

may die cause they told a lie

saying it was Spring

what they said don’t mean a thing

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for Spring arrives on Friday

and what the weathermen say

this year the winter just won’t go

and they’re forecasting snow

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Dreary Winter Rooftop Pipedreams

In color…

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and black & white

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Being in Winter

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How higher they be
than me
for they know how
to just Be

always

in the present
in the Silence
so profound in winter
but in the forever now

I look fearfully ahead
towards a future of endings
and losses
of attachments
acquired over the years
none more strong
than our love

I used to know

how to just be
like a tree
spontaneously
when very young
now I seek to Be
as I was in youth

in rapture
not just in nature
but always
as the sheep
in the deep
of winter.


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Observation in White

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The Secrets of Winter

DSCN3570_edited-3Sweet winter melancholy

assuages my soul

with its

bare branches 

reaching Godwards

and 

its subdued light

speaks of the Almighty

in silent whispers

that are drowned out by sunlight

and the mania of summer.


Distressed Beauty

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When Words Have Gone

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White birch

P1140639_edited-1December Reflections

P1140635_edited-1In the woods


Last Weeks of Winter

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Winter is weary

and we are wary

of forecasts

of yet more snow

and ice to come

 


When God Cries

When God cries

his tears gently touching

 the ailing, flailing earth

scintillating stardust falls

to the wintered ground below

twinkling diamond-lets

 tinkling the ground

tingling the ears

with a crinkling sound

sparkling the trees

in light bright white

blanching our sins

reaching out to us by

transforming our eyes

 with a bejeweled sight.


Feathery Fog

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(Click on image to enlarge)

January trees

please and tease

their feather-arms

 tickle the skies

gratify the eyes

 their lattice work branches

the soft, silky brush strokes

of a winter masterpiece


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Berries on Ice

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The Spiders’ Secret

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A chill wind blows the yellowing leaves off the trees. They drift down to the ground like giant snowflakes. The air is pregnant with the feel of the coming holidays. Fall has truly come, with the sudden drop in temperatures, a full 10-20 degrees cooler than a few weeks ago. This is the real Fall, no faltering Fall, but a Fall that will guide us appropriately into winter. November appears as a mirror image of March with its vibrant color of decay, while March is the decaying color of about-to-burst-forth Spring.

The birds are at the bird feeder all the time now. They are not stopped by our presence when we come to fill the feeder or blow leaves under it. Nothing stops them. They swoop around the feeder and the surrounding trees like Kamikaze pilots, darting here and there recklessly. The squirrels are in a frenzy as well, stock piling acorns and walnuts which they will retrieve without fail in a month or so in a snow-covered land.

To me, the trees are most beautiful at this time of year, when many of them are bare and a scattering of leaves remain on dark brown branches. The leaves that remain quiver daintily in their precarious positions on the tree limbs. Yet these are the survivors. The other leaves have fallen and gone the way all living things eventually go. Most trees have lost all their leaves and they stand in stark contrast against the blue sky, the stormy sky, the grey sky.  But I find them most beautiful against the night sky, with arms reaching up to the darkness, trying to touch the stars twinkling between the branches, as moonlight dances on their limbs.

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November holds the last glimmer of color. A carpet of yellow lines the woods now– and one can see inside the woods that are so dark and impenetrable in summer. Some forests have carpets of oak leaves– dark brown tan in color. Others are paved with variegated colors– vibrant crimsons against yellows and faded greens and tawny tans. The un-mown lawns are now taken over by the spiders covering the fields.  At precious moments, one can see a world of webs that only appears in a certain slant of sunlight and reveal a silent take-over by the spiders in webs that sparkle secretly, mirroring the infinite web of creation.

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The yellow, brown, and crimson leaves are complemented by the ubiquitous yellow, brown and crimson mums that appear on the roadside near mail boxes, on porches or along driveways. These tough little flowers withstand frosty chills and stand tall throughout most of November– hearty, generous souls, so giving in their colorful, velvety splendor.

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Halloween pumpkins begin to sag a bit or shine with wetness as if encased in glass. They will soon be tossed– pine combs, wreaths and fir swags to take their places, and the season of lights will begin. Anticipation hangs in the air. Autumn seems the fastest season to come and go. I try treasuring each moment, but the minute/hours/days just sift through my fingers like so many grains of sand. Then Christmas/Hanukkah comes and fades in a flash and we are into the Nor’Easter blizzards of January. Another year is gone and a new one has come. Would that we could be in forever in the season of love, but it is also a season of loneliness and loss and darkness. It is good we are defenseless against time.

Now, at Thanksgiving, it is our time to give thanks. Inspired by the Native Americans, let us thank the earth. Let us give thanks to the trees for their constantly changing beauty, to the stars for their piercing presence in the night sky, to the leaves for their inspiring colors, to the sun for its life-giving power.  Let us thank the Spring for its awakening hope, the Summer for its warm, thriving growth, the Fall for its beauteous bounty, to the Winter for a time of renewal.  Let us thank the soon-to-come snow for its hushed, white silence that transforms our world, to all the animals for their pure souls, to our families and friends for their precious love, and, lastly, but mostly, to the Higher Power of our belief for the macrocosm of creation.

Happy Thanksgiving and may you each be blessed with the all-embracing, pervasive, pulsating Love in Nature.


Stages of Being

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Beauty in Life

September 1

In denial

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Death in Life

October 1

Forboding

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Beauty in Death

November 1

Acceptance

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Afterlife

December 1

SILENCE


Fleeting Filigree

Moonrise through Filigree Trees

Winter is dying

and dead trees

are coming to life.

Your sap is starting to flow

bringing  forth birthing buds

of spring as

people clammer

for the greenery of summer.

But I love you most

when you are naked, nude, and vulnerable,

stripped bare of  beautiful-to-be sure

spring/summer finery.

I mourn your fleeting filigree

on this snow-showery day

of  comforting gloom and grey

and feel kinship with you

as you stand staunch against the cold

and stark against the feathery flakes of white.

I think you  most beautiful

in your bare-arm-intricacy,

and lace-like, linear patterns

drawn against a back-drop of sky,

as you reach for the Almighty.


Dying Winter

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The lattice work of the trees

against an ominous sky

 portends the end of winter.


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Volcanic Ice

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Sunset under Ice

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From fire to ice

From life to death

From death to Being