Believe it or not, we had a green Christmas here in Milwaukee, and we STILL haven’t gotten snow. I appreciated not worrying about my kids driving on the roads to visit me, and I’ve enjoyed going hiking in the warmer temperatures. But I also enjoy snow hiking, even though I don’t own snowshoes. The transformation of familiar objects and landscapes in winter is always interesting. Without foliage, the contours of the land come out more strikingly. With snowfall, they soften and blossom like ripe flesh. We headed out to Lapham Peak yesterday in bright sunshine. We discovered that they had created snow for some of their cross country ski trails. Man-made, electricity-dependent snow. Because this is Wisconsin, dammit, and we just can’t wait around for Mother Nature; winter break is NOW and it oughta be snowing already! (sigh) It’s sad to me that humans can’t slow down to fall in step with the planet. We keep pushing it to keep abreast of us. It’s like watching parents push their toddlers to be grown up by signing them up for language, dance and art lessons before they even hit nursery school. It smells manipulative and inauthentic. I am sniffing around in the other direction, trying to learn to open up to what exists.
The snow-making machine looks like a lunar landing module.
The boardwalk through the wetland has buckled and twisted in the process of freezing and thawing. It reminds me of the changeable dynamic of a journey, a path in constant flux. It tells me that my progress was not intended to be in a straight line, that meanders are natural and meaningful. And that makes them interesting and challenging. They invite me to adjust my balance, to pay attention, to dance with them.
I have no idea what is around the bend. There’s a new year coming up, full of mystery and thrilling movement. I am feeling less afraid and unsafe in this realization, and more eager to take the fun house walk.