At the center of your being

At the center of your being
you have the answer;
you know who you are
and you know what you want.

~ Lao Tzu

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One Two Zero


It has been 120 days since I started my year-long commitment to step outside every day.  That’s one-third of the journey completed.

(The fungi ladder.)

One of the unexpected benefits of this commitment is that I’ve found myself stepping outside of my comfort zone on a number of occasions.  Perhaps there is something about sticking with a commitment on a daily basis that makes a person braver.  Or maybe it’s a matter of growth, this wanting to reach and stretch.

(Radiant reds.  Winterberry.)

Boredom (or familiarity) may be a factor as well.  I walk the same paths most days.  It’s good to go somewhere different once in a while and/or do something novel.  Learn to ski.  Practice food photography.  Take on a challenge of some kind.  Find a new way to capture the familiar.

(A delicacy.)

The hardest part, so far, is the posting to the blog every day.  One hundred twenty days of blog posts with more to come.  Yikes.  Talk about a challenge, especially in terms of keeping it interesting.

Frankly my dears, I’m running out of things to blog about on the days where nothing really happens and my walks are limited to Breezy Acres.  If you have any suggestions, ideas, questions for me, photos you’d like to see, challenges — anything at all — please leave your ideas, etc., in the comments.  I’ll see what I can do.

Blindingly White

That was my first thought when I stepped out the door today.  The sky is white.  The ground is white.  The snow falling from the sky is white, and everything is being covered in a new layer of white.

(My boot print in the snow.)

Winter seems to have come to us in layers this year.  On the bottom it is wet and muddy.  The layer above that is snow.  Then ice.  Then snow again, being freshly laid today.  I can see the layers in my footprints, more so in some places than in others.  Every step is crunchy as my boots make their way through the icy layer.

(Layers.  Snow, grass, dried flowers, fungus, wood.)

This is where the posts get boring (to me).  I turn my outdoor adventures into weather reports.  I’m not sure what else to write about them.  It’s cold.  Snow falls.  I shiver.  My face gets numb.  My nose runs.  My eyes water if it’s windy.  And my legs work hard walking through the snow.

(Bright white on a holly bush.)

It’s 24ºF outside.  The radar is covered in blue to represent the snow.  Off the radar, outside, it’s difficult to see because of the heavy snowfall.

(Today’s view of the creek.)

But back in the woods, by the creek, it is calmer.  Quieter.  I could hear the snowflakes hitting the ground after making their way between the trees.  It’s a good place to rest, sheltered from the wind and the heavy snow.

Trees are sanctuaries.  Whoever knows how to speak to them, whoever knows how to listen to them, can learn the truth.  They do not preach learning and precepts, they preach undeterred by particulars, the ancient law of life.

~ Hermann Hesse

117: Amazing day

(Ski tracks through the woods.)

This is the kind of day that makes me think I love winter.  M and I went to the Pine Lodge Ski Center at Chapin Forest Reservation for our cross-country ski lesson.  The instructor was wonderful and brutal.  Wonderful in that she seemed to figure out quickly what we needed to learn and how we needed to learn it.  Brutal in that she kept us going for pretty much the entire 90-minute lesson.  I guess she figured we could handle it.

I might not be able to walk again for at least a week.  lol!

Brutal, also, in that she kept making us work our way up a hill so we could learn how to come down it.  In the end, this tackled my fear of going downhill, which was probably her ulterior motive.  Hehehe.  I did tell her I worried about going downhill because I didn’t know how to stop or control my speed (and it always seemed to me that the downhill part ought to be the fun part!).  By the third trip down I was feeling okay about it.  What clinched it for me was when we were on a more gentle downslope later on and I slipped out of the ski tracks, slid across the path, and managed to stop myself without panic or having to think about it too much.

Yep.  We had a great teacher.  We also had a lot of fun and I am so glad we decided on taking a lesson.  I think it will make a world of difference for me.  M seemed pretty confident already.

We worked up quite a sweat.  Even so, we weren’t finished after our lesson.  We decided to head over to Holden Arboretum so M could check out their ski trails and I could hike around for a bit, camera in hand, to take some winter photos.  I took plenty but you’ll have to wait until tomorrow to see them.  I hiked a mile or so in the deep snow.  Add that to the skiing, and you get one exhausted Robin.  (Oh, we saw a flock of robins today, too!)  I’m trying to get this post up fast so I can put my feet up and rest for the remainder of the evening.  (Note to self:  No more digressing!  You can write all about this tomorrow!)

After arriving home two red foxes ran into the yard and we watched them for a while.  I don’t think I’ve ever had such a good view of a fox, especially in the wild.  I did attempt to take some photos and this is the best of the lot (don’t get your hopes up):

There was a screen on the window, it was past sunset, and by the time I grabbed the camera both foxes were on the move again.  But I think you can tell from the coloring and bushy tail that it’s a fox.

Pretty amazing, really.  The whole day.  🙂