Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Peace on earth, goodwill to all, blah blah blah


It's no secret that the last few months have been something of a train wreck here at Camp Romantoes. So it felt like a real blessing that today--a day when the tearing of metal and the grinding of gears seems finally to have quieted--dawned bright and clear and sunny.

I put on the Yaktrax I got and never had a chance to use last winter and made my usual trek over to White Park. In the two years I've been walking there, I've marked out a pretty standard route that I follow more or less every time. It allows me to be in the woods, and away from street sounds and distant houses, as long as possible. What I've grown to love about trodding the same path every time is the remarkable balance of consistency and change it provides: same path, same general scenery, and yet radically different sights every time, depending on the season and the weather and the time of day.

In the fall, it's awash with color from the maples and oaks and buckeyes in the woods; in the spring, I love to watch the gradual creeping in of green.

And in the winter, even the bleakness is somehow lovely. Especially when everything is blanketed by snow and the light and shadow are magnified by sun and blue skies. Today as I walked I thought about how it doesn't seem that long ago that I was hiking through here to see the fall color...and how, before too long, small signs of life will start to emerge. Goddamn circle of life.

Robert Frost said it best: "In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on." Relentlessly, mercilessly sometimes. If you're lucky, patiently and gently. In the woods, thankfully, it feels more like the latter.

So, since we're supposed to be thinking about peace and all that good s**t at this time of year, I'll leave you with a little video of the waterfall in White Park. I hope you find it even a little bit as restorative online as I did in person this morning. A peaceful season to all, indeed--and our very sincere wishes for a happy new year.

video

5 comments:

--S. said...

I'm *so* glad to see you were able to get out, and I couldn't agree more about the restorative power of hiking rituals. It's just *good* to be outside and moving, and I always feel so much better and more balanced after a nice walk. Plus: Yaktrax rule!

Anonymous said...

Wait...you'be been in Morgantown for two years already?

Rosemary said...

@S.: yes, yes, and yes again to all your points, especially about the Yaktrax. After I finally bought them last year, we of course didn't ever have enough snow again for me to use them. But after today's maiden voyage, I agree--they *do* rule.

@Anonymous--two and a half years, to be exact (and no one's more surprised than me by that).

Horace said...

"...For I have learned
To look on nature, not as in the hour
Of thoughtless youth; but hearing oftentimes
The still, sad music of humanity,
Nor harsh nor grating, though of ample power
To chasten and subdue."

I'm glad to hear that the blanket of snow has offered some solace for you, Rosemary. We've been thinking about you a lot lately. We're glad you're 'coming out of the woods' as it were, and equally glad for the 2 1/2 years (so far)

Christy said...

Just lovely. You, and everything you've posted here.