The horse's pasture to the East...

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


You never see paths that are straight. Sidewalks and streets, buildings and, usually, houses are built on a grid, but the paths we make on our own are organic, curved and unpredictable. We can't help that. When we walk up or down a hill, through a forest or across a meadow it's always in curves even when we THINK we're walking in a straight line from point A to point B. Funny thing is that we have a tendency to go back to that same path when we walk through that area again, even years later after the weather has erased our previous passage. Ever wonder why we do that?

Today we had a blizzard...the real deal. There were times this afternoon when the sky was as white as the ground and I couldn't see more than fifty feet from the house. It was a white out. Haven't been in one of those since my boys were babies, more than thirty years ago. Nature isn't something to be taken lightly, especially if she's decided to have her way. Today was one of those days.

It gave all of us pause. This image looks like I've photo shopped it. I didn't. That's how it was today...white out. There was a path running from the shed to the barn, along the fence line but still in a curve. I don't know how they knew where to walk, but it made sense to the herd so I used it too. I trust them to show me the way sometimes as much as they trust me in most other circumstances. It's a partnership.

John had the day off, but he wouldn't have gone in to work even if he hadn't. We're, temporarily, cut off. The electricity has been flickering on and off all day long. Happens a lot out here when there's ice on the lines or the wind is blowing hard. A tree comes down somewhere and falls across the lines or the wind blows them into each other and it shorts out. Call me crazy, but I like it when it's like this. This kind of weather reminds me to show respect, to remember that I'm pretty insignificant in the big picture. Living in the moment is all there is, so the tiny bits of time that are elemental like it was today make me appreciate the need to be prepared for whatever comes around the next bend in the path. Guess I've become somewhat of an adrenalin junky.

We were all wired with it today. The air was almost electric with the energy that a storm like this generates! I loved standing out in it, being pushed around by the wind and bitten by the cold. It snapped at me, leaving trails of melting snow on my face that froze about as quickly as they formed. I know I'm supposed to be careful when it's like this, but there's a part of me that wanted to take Lucky out and just let him go...ride him where ever HE wanted to go. (More than likely he would have walked around the edge of the barn , through the doors to the hay stack. He's smarter than I am.) I didn't. I've gotten wiser with the passing years, but that doesn't mean that part of me isn't still there, taking me down a path that curves when I least expect it to.

It's still snowing as I write this...hard. The forecast says that it will continue to snow with high winds all night long and into tomorrow. I think I'm half hypnotized with the Zen of it, the perfect take no prisoners force of it. I'm outside every single day of the year, doing the chores that always need to be done. Thing is, it isn't really a "chore" for me. It's my religion, dealing with this kind of weather. I love the focus that can't be avoided, the connection it gives me back to the earth.

The Buddhists say that it's a privilege to do menial sweep and clean and work hard. I agree. If someone asked me what I think Heaven is like, I would tell them I hope it's like this. I love the problems I have to solve, the focus that it takes for me to go down my switch back path and around the blind curves. I am so empowered by days like today!

I can hardly wait to see what tomorrow brings!

I am, ever yours, off around the bend (in more ways than one!)...Nancy, head back and laughing!


Natalya said...

Ahhhh, Nancy! Thank you for writing that so very well!

I was out in it today myself, driving the bus. A lot like farm work in its own way...routine, meditative, total in-the-moment alert, weather as a companion/co-worker not adversary--a fact, not a question.

It was such a powerful groove to be in that when they called for volunteers to stay late and drive 2 more hours, I was one of the first to step up.

Again, many thanks!

Nancy, smiling! said...

Always welcome Natalya! It was an elemental doubt about it. "Powerful groove" is the perfect description!