Monday, January 4, 2010

Welcome To a New Year

It's deep winter now, and we have passed the point of no return. Now is the time of gathering; not a gathering in of a harvest, but a gathering together of the forces that will bring that harvest into being out of nothing. Now everything rests under the snow. But that's the point: everything is there, waiting for its appointed time. That time is coming.I need to think like that after a hectic Christmas break with kids and puppies. I miss the solitude of being on the water. I miss the company of eagles, ospreys, and loons, beavers and otters, deer and coyotes, who understand solitude and keep conversation to a minimum. I miss the big silence of the lake filled with the sounds of falling rocks, rising trout, restless wind and living water. I miss the quiet space that settles around me and opens the way to the quiet space within me. But all of that--everything--is there, resting under the snow and under the flurries--and blizzards--of family activity, waiting for its season.

Now the snow is falling, a wet, heavy snow. If the pattern of past winters holds, a cold snap will create a solid layer of ice under the snow and a hard crust on top. Driving is an adventure. The river is still high and choked with ice floes, and the lakes are locked in ice. The kids are back in school, and a new season of AAU basketball begins tomorrow for both boys. New snowboards wait for trips to the local ski area. The puppies are growing in stature, if not yet in wisdom or full favor with God and the man who has ended up taking care of them most of the time.

I am grateful for this life. I am richer than I deserve to be, and this is the time to settle deeply into it all and enjoy the wealth.
And there is still time to take pleasure in the woodshed...
And the woodstove...
And the crackling and sputtering of pungent tamarack and fir.
And even though I won't be on the lake any time soon, I have cleared the decks for action on my fly tying desk.
I'm looking forward to the arrival of some fly tying materials ordered with a gift card--some long shank hooks in #10 and #12, some new colors of krystal flash. Should be any day now. Visions of big Drakes and Hoppers dance in my head.
For the ice that holds last year's leaves will leave at last...
And hungry Brown Trout will again prowl the shoreline.
The sun that broke through the clouds briefly over the weekend to light up a snowy mountaintop is doing its work...
And as sure as Orion strides from horizon to horizon, and the Big Dipper rises high in the north and tips itself over, all in the course of a night, so the seasons are shifting and tilting toward this:
Happy New Year.

1 comment:

  1. Dear Jim,
    How can I thank you for your blog? It makes my life richer. Your writing is so beautiful, and so are your pictures.
    Love, Mary Nell