We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.
~ Thornton Wilder
Today is a gift. Every day is a gift, of course, but today feels special. I’m not sure why. There is something in the air. A shift. A transformation.
The temperature has been dropping since I rolled out of bed this morning. The wind is singing. Clouds are being whisked away as the sun takes over the sky.
The leaves on the ground are no longer crispy and crunchy. I can walk silently through the woods and under the trees as I make my way around the pond. We had rain last night. It must have followed the bright flash of lightning and big boom of thunder that woke us from our dreams in the middle of the night.
Few leaves are left on any of the trees, just a stubborn straggler here and there trying to hold on as the wind tries to force it to let go. The sugar maples in the neighbor’s yard which were full of color yesterday now have a carpet of yellows, reds, and oranges at their feet. The neighbor will probably rake them up. I never saw much sense in that when you’re living out in the country. Or in the suburbs for that matter. Why not leave them or mulch them on the lawn to feed the grass?
It will snow soon. Not today. Not tomorrow. But before the week is out.
Last night’s outdoor time was fabulous. M and I went to Akron to watch the Akron Zips Men’s Soccer team play in the second round of the 2010 NCAA Tournament. They beat West Virginia University 3-2. But I gotta tell ya, I was worried near the end. Akron was up 3-0 for the first 80 minutes. WVU came in and scored in the 81st and 86th minutes. It was (to me) a brutal game in that there was a lot of fouling going on, not to mention some injuries here and there.
Akron is unbeaten in its last 37 matches at home. Let’s hope it stays that way as they will be hosting Indiana (who beat Tulsa last night) next Saturday. If the weather is good, perhaps we’ll go.
The Roo, by the way, is the mascot for the Akron Zips. Zippy, the kangaroo. To be honest, Zippy is more cute than fierce. I met him last night at the game. Nice Roo. Funny Roo. But fierce Roo? Nah. Maybe he has a more frightening side that doesn’t come out when he’s meeting and greeting the fans. (The kangaroo pictured at the beginning of this post is not Zippy but a kangaroo who lives at the Cleveland Zoo. I took the photo back in April of 2007 when visiting the zoo with my granddaughter. If you would like to see Zippy, click here.)
Mascots are interesting. I wonder if they’re supposed to be totems. Click here to read about the kangaroo as an animal totem. Somewhere else I read that kangaroos only go forward, never backward, and if the kangaroo is your totem, you will have the strength and power to keep going as long as you keep moving forward. That one seems to fit the Zips soccer team pretty well.
Last night’s moonrise was incredible. A big, pinkish-orange moon came up from behind the city buildings in Akron while we were watching the soccer game. The weather was wonderful. Breezy but not too cold, the scent of the air fresh and clean. I did not have my camera with me hence I have no photos of Zippy or the moon.
I only managed to fit in ten minutes of my outdoor time this morning. Just after I went out the wind began to whip and there was lightning and thunder in the distance. Storms are coming, bringing winter with them. It’s a good thing, too. The trees have started budding and the buds on the pussy willow are starting to open. The unseasonably warm weather has been confusing the plant life.
The rain promised by the gusty winds, lightning and thunder never materialized. Or hasn’t materialized so far. When I went back outside this afternoon it was still windy and warm with a big break in some of the clouds that allowed the sun to come out. I stayed out longer than planned. I love this kind of weather. It’s invigorating, crackling, almost breathtaking when the weather is on the precipice of a big change, the kind of change that causes the temperatures to plummet sharply.
About 30 minutes after I went out I felt the wind shift. The warm air became cooler and cooler air. By the time I decided it was time to walk back to the house and do a few chores, I almost needed a coat.
I saw a couple of frogs hop into the pond as I walked by. I hope they hurry up and get themselves back into the mud so they don’t get caught in the freeze when it arrives.
You are standing in the sky. When we think of the sky, we tend to look up, but the sky actually begins at the earth. We walk through it, yell into it, rake leaves, wash the dog, and drive cars in it. We breathe it deep within us. With every breath, we inhale millions of molecules of sky, heat them briefly, and then exhale them back into the world.
~ Diane Ackerman
I read this quote last night and thought how cool that is: We live in and breathe the sky. I should think about that the next time I’m on an airplane and way up in the sky. It’s comforting in a way.
My yoga practice this morning was lovely. Energizing, in a “I can feel the energy moving throughout” kind of way. Although there is something to be said for all of the poses (or asanas), tree pose (Vrksasana) was my favorite today. I was balanced and felt rooted to the earth while reaching up towards the sky.
Some days my balance isn’t as good and I almost topple over. Some days it’s really bad and I do topple over. Today I found my center, where the balance comes from.
When we get back into the warmer months, I think I’ll move my mat and practice outside. I imagine it’s a wonderful thing, doing yoga outdoors.
I’m going to spend my outdoor time at a soccer game later this afternoon. It should be fun. The weather will be nice (unseasonably warm again).
I am stretching (s-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g-!) for something to write about today. It’s one of those days when I seem to have lost my words.
So I think I’ll give up on the words and just post some photos. Maybe tomorrow I’ll feel more inspired to write. Today I just want to feel and luxuriate in the good energy of the day.
I wonder. I wonder a lot. I even wondered about the word wonder and had to go look it up just to see if it is all the things I think it is and I was delighted to find it’s true: Wonder is a wonderful word.
To think or speculate curiously
I wonder about blogging and life. I wonder about the ups and downs of it. I have a few blog mates that have dropped off the blogosphere for a while. Some have come back for NaBloPoMo. Some have made brief appearances for NaNoWriMo. And others are showing up in comments here and there remarking about how this is the first year they have missed NaNo or NaBlo.
I wonder about some of those folks. Is life keeping them so busy that they no longer have time to blog? Did they grow tired of it? Have they moved on to some other aspect of online life? Or are they so immersed in life that blogging about it doesn’t even enter their minds anymore? (I like to think it is the last option because I want to imagine them happily going about life.)
To be filled with admiration, amazement or awe
Some of those I am missing from blogland are people I admire, people who amazed and awed me with their use of words. I’ve often wished that I could put together letters, string together words, and make sentences and paragraphs the way they do. I know there is a certain amount of skill involved in writing as with any art, skill that comes from knowing the basics and practicing them, but I also know there is a gift to it as well.
I miss their gifts and I hope they are still sharing them somewhere so that others can experience the wonder of their use of words and their ability to draw one in to a story or a poem.
I’m committed to this — blogging and the outdoor adventures challenge — for a good long while and I have to tell you, I wondered (a lot!) after making the announcement if I wasn’t making a great mistake. A whole year??? How crazy is that?? Did I aim too high?
But day after day it has become easier, mainly because it has become part of my daily routine. I am habit building. A day without some outdoor time doesn’t seem normal anymore.
I also wonder if I’ll be able to catch up. I tried to keep up with blogging and my blogging friends while in San Diego but I could only devote so much time to it as my days were filled with enjoying being in San Diego. So I think I’ll give up on catching up and start from where I am.
Today’s walk was filled with wonders, too. It always is. Today I admired the silvery sheen of the sunlight and clouds, especially as they were reflected in the water of the pond.
The sky has been milky today. Even the blues, when they were showing, looked washed out. It’s an unseasonably warm day. Perhaps that is what is causing the haze and milkiness.
M has been outside using his new toy, a chain saw. I can’t get quite as excited about it as he is, but I am glad he has a better chain saw than he had in the past. It should make it easier and quicker to cut up all the wood lying about out there, especially the huge chunks of elm left from when we had to have the dead elm trees cut down.
One of the places I be sure to visit each day is the back of the pond where a big, old maple tree hangs over the water. We are going to have to remove it sometime soon. A strong wind could bring it down, roots and all, and that could/would undermine the dam. I feel awful about it. It’s a beautiful tree. I took a few photos but they all came out blurry (sort of how I look at the tree now, feeling teary-eyed about having to cut it down).
I’ll try again tomorrow to get some decent shots of it. I will be visiting the tree every day until we finally do the dastardly, but necessary, deed.
I also wondered at and admired the browns. I know most people don’t think of brown as a beautiful or wonderful color. I like it. There are so many different shades of brown now that most of the other color has dropped away. Sometimes I try to see how many of those shades I can get into one photo.
That’s about it from the Bogs for now. Thanks for stopping by. 🙂
Today I met up with Christina. Christina is one of those friends I met through blogging. We got together the last time I visited San Diego (you can read about it here and see some photos here). At that time Christina took me on a wonderful tour of Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve. When she asked what I would like to do this time I responded (without hesitation) that I would like to go to Torrey Pines again if she wouldn’t mind. I wanted the chance to see the area again during a different season. Although I could have gone on my own (or if M could fit it into his schedule, with him), going with Christina is a special treat because Torrey Pines is Her Place. It is a place she loves and has taken the time to get to know which makes her a fun and knowledgeable guide.
(On the beach.)
Since this is my last day here and I want to get in some beach time, I’m going to put up some photos and hope to fill in any blanks later. We walked on the beach and climbed to higher areas where there were wonderful views. We saw Torrey Pines (the rarest pine in North America), a few birds (including a peregrine falcon and a hummingbird), and even the occasional flowers (although this is not the time of year for flowers).
As usual, the photos are all straight out of the camera and uploaded to Photobucket (which seems to take away some of the clarity, or maybe that’s just me).
(Christina told me the name of this bird but I’ve forgotten already.)
(We climbed a few stairs.)
(The view was worth the climb.)
(Way worth it. And the climb wasn’t that bad.)
(Another lovely view.)
(View through the pines.)
(The wrinkled tree.)
(View of the beach — where we started — from above.)
We had lunch after our hike at a Mexican restaurant where I ate some sort of cactus in a spicy tomato sauce. Yummy, yummy, yummy!
Thank you so much, Christina, for another wonderful outing. I can well understand why you love it here. 🙂