Saturday, January 24, 2015

"As we walk our own ground, on foot or in mind, we need 
to be able to recite stories about hills and trees and animals, 
stories that root us in this place and keep it alive. The sounds we 
make, the patterns we draw, the plots we trace may be as native 
to the land as deer trails or bird songs. The more fully we 
belong to our place, the more likely that our place will 
survive without damage. We cannot create myth from scratch,
 but we can recover or fashion stories that will help us to see 
where we are, how others have lived here, and how we
 ourselves should live."

from Telling The Holy
          Scott Russell Sanders

Last week I notified my employer of my intention to retire
this spring. The above quote indicates in part, what I hope
to do. Which is to learn and  participate in the rhythm of 
life and the change of seasons that occurs in the area 
surrounding our cabin. There will also be time for books, 
hobbies, friends, and family. The movement of clouds and 
stars against the sky, the winds across water, through
 trees will hopefully not find me too busy or too tired to 
pause for a moment to listen to their songs. 

The night before we left the cabin this year the young bear that has
been hanging around the last year or so crossed the road. Not a 
great shot but a good reminder.

This is the life I wanted, and could never see.
For almost twenty years I thought that it was enough: 
That real happiness was either unreal, or lost, or endless,
And that remembrance was as close to it as I could ever come. 
And I believed that deep in the past, buried in my heart 
Beyond the depth of sight, there was a kingdom of peace. 
And so I never imagined that when peace would finally come
It would be on a summer evening, a few blocks away from home 
In a small suburban park, with some children playing aimlessly 
In an endless light, and a lake shining in the distance.

from In The Park
By John Koethe

Sunday, January 4, 2015

"It was a pretty sight, and a seasonable one, that met their eyes
 when they flung the door open. In the fore-court, lit by the dim 
rays of a horn lantern, some eight or ten little field-mice stood in 
a semicircle, red worsted comforters round their throats, their fore-paws 
thrust deep into their pockets, their feet jigging for warmth. With bright 
beady eyes they glanced shyly at each other, sniggering a little, sniffing 
and applying coat-sleeves a good deal. As the door opened, one of the elder 
ones that carried the lantern was just saying, "Now then, one, two, three!" and 
forthwith their shrill little voices uprose on the air, singing one of the 
old-time carols that their forefathers composed in fields that were fallow 
and held by frost, or when snow-bound in chimney corners, and handed 
down to be sung in the miry street to lamp-lit windows at Yule-time."

We had a nice long break at Christmas, Helen's mother was 
here for the week. We had friends over Christmas Day for 
turkey and a viewing of Alastair Sim in a Christmas Carol but
I wanted to celebrate the season a bit more. This blog is of
course named with a quote from the Wind in the Willows so two
more quotes seemed appropriate. and this cast of characters
has been lovingly assembled over the years to help us
remember to honour Christmas in out hearts, hopefully all
year long.


"He saw clearly how plain and simple — how narrow, 
even — it all was; but clearly, too, how much it all meant 
to him, and the special value of some such anchorage in 
one's existence. He did not at all want to abandon the 
new life and its splendid spaces, to turn his back on sun 
and air and all they offered him and creep home and 
stay there; the upper world was all too strong, it called to 
him still, even down there, and he knew he must return to 
the larger stage. But it was good to think he had this to 
come back to, this place which was all his own, these things 
which were so glad to see him again and could always be 
counted upon for the same simple welcome."

both quotes  from the Wind in the Willows
                                                                by Kenneth Graham

Thursday, January 1, 2015

"On every side the shadowy hills or the guessed, featureless sea 

extended beyond sight. But the hawk-flight of imagination followed 
them as they curved downward below the horizon. I perceived that I 
was on a little round grain of rock and metal, filmed with water and 
with air, whirling in sunlight and darkness. And on the skin of that 
little grain all the swarms of men, generation by generation, had lived 
in labor and blindness, with intermittent joy and intermittent lucidity 
of spirit. And all their history, with its folk-wanderings, its empires, 
its philosophies, its proud sciences, its social revolutions, its increasing
 hunger for community, was but a flicker in one day of the lives of stars.

If one could know whether among that glittering host there were here 
and there other spirit-inhabited grains of rock and metal, whether man's 
blundering search for wisdom and for love was a sole and insignificant 
tremor, or part of a universal movement!"

from The Star Maker (1937)
Olaf Stapledon

Well I have been very lazy lately, I have not even finished 
editing my summer photos from the cabin.
I will try top be a little more active this year
although I am not much for resolutions. 

In the early morning I like to walk down the grid road 
that passes our lane to a small slough where the road curves. 
It was on one of these walks that I met this Waxwing. I am 
always amazed at how delicately coloured they are when 
I see one up  close. 

All the best in 2015

" Over there the pale snow lay in a different fashion
than on my roof, over there the beech forest and the
black pine trees were indescribably beautiful and 
reserved in a way I never saw in my neighborhood;
perhaps God Himself walked over there along the 
slopes, and whoever met Him there could touch Him
and speak to Him and look closely into His eyes."

from At Year's End 1904
              by Hermann Hesse


Sunday, December 21, 2014

Merry Christmas Every One!!!

“I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all 
the year. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future. 
The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me. I will not shut 
out the lessons that they teach!” 

                from  The Christmas Carol

Thursday, December 18, 2014

"He clasps the crag with crooked hands;
Close to the sun in lonely lands,
Ring'd with the azure world, he stands.

The wrinkled sea beneath him crawls;
He watches from his mountain walls,
And like a thunderbolt he falls."
The Eagle
This eagle was was far from crags and oceans, actually it was
asleep in a pasture when we first saw it. Once I started siddling
up it gave me the fish eye. Then a huge flock of hundreds of starlings
appeared they did not mob it they just watched but the eagle had seen
enough and flew away.

"No two trees are the same to Raven.
No two branches are the same to Wren.
If what a tree or a bush does is lost on you,
You are surely lost. Stand still.
The forest knows Where you are.
You must let it find you."
from Lost
By Mary Oliver

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

"Miraculous. It is as though the world
were a great writing. Having said so much,
let us allow there is more to the world
than writing: continental faults are not
bare convoluted fissures in the brain.
Not only must the skaters soon go home;
also the hard inscription of their skates
is scored across the open water, which long
remembers nothing, neither wind nor wake."

                                 from Writing
                                    by Howard Nemerov
Some photos of a fellow traveler I meet one morning as
I strolled along the lane at our cabin. Reptiles and Amphibians
have always had a fascination for me and in this area of
Saskatchewan the Garter Snake, the Plains Toad and the
Tiger Salamander are the species I am most likely to
encounter. I have meet Tiger Salamanders in some fairly 
dry windy areas of Alberta, which quite surprised me
and I am very happy to see them here. Hopefully I can get
to know them better when I can spend more time at the cabin.

"When the stars threw down their spears,
And watered heaven with their tears,
Did he smile his work to see?
Did he who made the Lamb make thee?

Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry? "

                                     From The Tyger
                                       By William Blake

Monday, November 17, 2014

"I remember you. You're the one
who lifted your ancient bones
of fossil rock, pulled yourself free
of the strata like a plaster figure
rising from its own mold, became
flesh and feather, took wing,
arrested the sky."
from Stone Bird
by Patttiann Rogers

"here is nine o'clock, harbor-wide,
and a glinting code: promise and warning.
The morning's the size of heaven.

What will you do with it? "
from Long Point Light
Mark Doty