But his big, round music, after all,
is too breathy to last.
If you’ve read my blog for long or follow any of my social media accounts you know that herons are a very special presence in my life. I’m lucky to live close to a small body of water that always has a heron, or two, around. And although the Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) definitely does not have a white eye–they are yellow or gold–I thought of this Mary Oliver poem when I came across this photo I took a few years ago.
The poem also resonated with me because yesterday was the Winter Solstice: the first day of winter and the return of the light. The days grow longer and the nights grow shorter. Like Oliver’s bird, I grow ever more restless. I have an idea–ideas–unfolding from under my wings. Also like the white-eyed bird, I want to go to sleep. This season has always been a time of marinating dreams for me. Stewing. Conjuring. Imagining. For moving deep beneath surface life, just like the insects and worms and larvae that snuggle up against dormant (not dead!) plant roots deep within my garden’s soil. But like the roots, the worms, and the white-eyed bird, I need to rest. “So, it’s over, ” Oliver goes on. “He’s done all he can.” Yes, I reply. I have.
I’m going to hibernate for a while. And although many of us feel we’ve already been hibernating for so long, isolation/distancing is not the same as hibernation. Hibernation comes from the Latin word hibernare: to winter, pass the winter, occupy winter quarters. And I fully intend to pass the winter in my own way of dreaming, marinating, and conjuring even while I enter a deep restful state. There will be time for growth when the soil warms in the next season.
I just finished reading ‘Wintering: The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times’ by Katherine May. It was a captivating book, part memoir and part meditation on culture, society, the natural world, and human nature. Now is the perfect time to read May’s book. Just ask Bootsie.
Order from your favorite Indy bookstore or here’s the link to mine: Quail Ridge Books in Raleigh NC.
That’s it for now! Happy, Merry, Joyous Absolutely Everything. See you next year…
One last thing. Did you see the Great Conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter? I walked down to the park where I could see above the tree line. I didn’t get National Geographic quality photos, but I did manage to capture this once-in-a-lifetime event with my Canon PAS. And a couple of La Luna.