The first in time and the first in importance of the influences upon the mind is that of nature. Every day, the sun; and after sunset, night and her stars. Ever the winds blow; ever the grass grows.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
To call this past year a little dry is an understatement. Last week I entertained the thought of giving up dusting every other day and just start shoveling once a week. Walking around the lake, it is very apparent just how dry the past year has been. Water levels are down, noticeably so. It has hardly rained to speak of since July. No fabulous fall thunderstorms, no white Christmas did December bring to us. Nothing of the normal weather we have by this time of year. The National Weather Service has declared this part of the country in a drought. Farmers in the state have recorded upwards of $1.8 million in lost crops due to the lack of precipitation by the start of the new year. The lake however, has not suffered any loss of beauty with the declining rainfall.
The unseasonably warm weather has allowed me a great many pleasurable sunset walks to enjoy this winter wonderland without the awful bite of subzero windchills. Although the temperature plummets at night, days are staying in the 40s and 50s, and the dry climate reminds me of many western winters I spent in the high desert. A time when wool sweaters & socks complement cargo shorts and the need for gloves is nil – which is good, I have never survived at winter while maintaining a full set of matching gloves. The longer I can go before breaking them out, the longer I can fool myself that this is the year I will make it.
There alone with nature, walking the waterfront, my mind absorbed with memories of things past and my dreams of tomorrow. The din of world noise that surrounds me from waking until slumber, momentarily quieted and everything wrong with the world is suddenly just as it should be. Work worries and life troubles are melted by that setting orb, and replaced softly with sun-drenched serenity, there was no ugliness of life that could not be erased by its glare. The only sound was that of the rocks under my feet and the gently lapping tide. It is in moments like that that I am truly me, the privacy of my life laid as open as the freshwater mussels that litter the banks and I am free.
As I walk along the shoreline, bathed in golden rays, I am struck by the simply beauty and balance of it all. For a moment the sun hangs perfectly in the sky; illuminating all in a radiant blaze; ice forming along the rocks catches the sun and reflects jewel-like tones onto my feet as I stand just out of the water’s reach. As I lift my face unto the light, I am at once, rejuvenated. For a moment, I stand, gazing into the panoramic winter sun, exquisitely dying into the horizon, and like my world, I am on fire.
Make up your mind
Decide to walk with me
Around the lake tonight
By my side