We are really socked in here today. It is another day of low hanging clouds. They seem endlessly thick and are certainly here in earnest, holding all of us in the valley in their embrace. We had another night of freezing rains and temperatures dipping just below the freezing point. The whole Midwest is experiencing this storm of icy rain. The stream and river currents are running at a pretty good clip with light brown mud and a little froth on the water’s edge. We have been blessed and spared the usual power outages here and remain warm and dry inside shelter. I walked bravely onto the back porch to get a full measure of what the day was all about and was barely able to keep my footing with the ice so thick on the deck. As I looked out across the backyard and into the woods, it looked to me as if a giant had walked through the valley overnight and painted the tops of the tree branches white. It looked surreal. But it was real enough. Ice caked the upper parts of the tree branches – everywhere as far as my eye could see. It had warmed enough so that the ice was melting, hurried by some gently falling rains. So I was catching a glimpse of a changing landscape. Nature was continuing this painting right before my very eyes. And what further wonder I witnessed was amongst the birds. I was feeling a bit down and worried for all of the creatures that live out in this weather, and sent a prayer for their well-being out into the ethers. As I stood there quietly on the porch, I heard chirping all around me. The birds were busy singing as they went about scouring the area to fill their bellies. I heard all manner of song. It was really the first group concert I have heard here in some time. I felt my heart swell. Well, I thought, if they can sing in this moment, amidst barely melting icy branches and a cold rain falling, I certainly have no reason whatsoever to be even remotely down in spirits. These animals continue to teach me – in every moment, if I only but listen. Just when I feel I have it ‘all figured out’, I discover I have so much more to learn. I am only just at the beginning. May the learning, the discovery, and the wonder never end. What’s up in your neck of the woods?
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