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To the edge of the ocean, that is.  Yes.  I am fleeing to the ocean’s edge seeking solace, seashells, wind and waves.  Rainy forecast be damned, I am still heading out so I can arrive there, where the ocean meets the rocky shore. 

Fingers crossed that my V (as in my Bastard Buddy Vertigo) will allow me a grace period for the 4+ hour drive.  I typically relish driving the many miles as it is a beautiful drive, rain or shine, and this road and I are very well acquainted.  We know each other’s twists and turns, pot holes and all.  So please Universe above and within, please keep the green light lit and a Pink Bubble of safety around yours truly and Buster Blue (aka my trusty car companion) as we escape this city life. 

Because it is true.  The edge is where the good stuff often hangs out.  An ever tempting adventure of discovery.  So to the edge it is.

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The unmistakable trumpet of Canadian geese pierced through the early morning airwaves and were received by my welcoming ears.  In the spring, these first honkings validate with assurance and confidence that winter is surely on the wane because there are new feathered sherrifs in town.  We know when the geese head south, so do our hopes of continued late summer and autumn joys.  Their departing audio conversations sound sad to those of us left behind.  Left behind to face a cold and icy future.   

But today, the Canadians are back and my heart jumped with joy for surely on their strong wings my prayers for winter’s end are answered.   

It is true. 

Prayers and wishes can, indeed, come true.

One of the wonders of modern living holds sway over me still and most likely always will.  The ability to turn on the tap and have potable water appear ~ instantly appear and then with a slight flick of the wrist make it hot or return it to an icy coldness.  Now that is life in the fast lane, baby.  And we haven’t even mentioned the luxury of the flush toilet.  Oh my!

I grew up in rural areas.  My childhood was a blend spent between the Pacific coast and the Atlantic Shoreboard.  The constant being the oceans and country living.  For most of those years we lived without plumbing or electricity.  Sometimes we had electricity and no plumbing.  My adoptive parents liked to say that they had running water, they’d just send me and my sister running to fetch it.  Yep, that was a real knee slapper, their little joke.  Explains though my life long awe of running water that does not require me walking for over a quarter of a mile or more and making like a pack mule hauling back 5-gallon bright red plastic jugs or multiple re-purposed white bleach bottles of the clear liquid. 

Although I have yet to taste a sweeter more pure cup of water than what ran in one of the springs on a homestead in a faraway place, I have to say that the trade off has proved worth the exchange over time. 

So earlier today while I was letting the hot water sluice through my hair I closed my eyes and said a little thank you to the Running Water Goddess and the Universe at large, for such a gift in my daily life.  This blessing of running water.  A blessing that millions of my species do not have access to, whose very lives revolve around the seeking and retrieving of this liquid manna. 

Life is about perspective.  At least my life today seems to be and just a little shift in my focus has helped me participate in my life in this moment.  Helped me send up a prayer of gratitude to the Running Water Goddess and loosen my hold on what was feeling a lot like the running water blues.

There can be no doubt left in anyone’s mind of which season has us in its icy grip. And if there was a smidgin of denial left in anyone’s psyche, the number of snowflakes that fell yesterday well into the darkness of the night would have smothered any such ability to compartmentalize or sidestep the fact that King Winter remains seated on his ice carved throne.

Weather records are being broken right and left all over the far flung regions in my corner of this planet. Phrases like “one of the five coldest winters in recorded history” and “the coldest winter in the past 40 years” to the north of us ~ and slightly southeast of my location “the heaviest snowfall on record” ~ to my very own little slice of frozen ground “the coldest month of January” and the “most snowfall to date” of any recorded winter.

Avalanches, collapsing buildings, frozen cheerleaders, massive numbers of moose deaths on highways and a backlog up to two weeks for plow service.

Giddy ski enthusiasts, manic snowboarders, adrenaline seeking snowmachiners and yards filled with snow angels.

Yeppers, folks. We’ve got us a winter goin’ on up in this Land of Yes Virginia It is Almost Always Winter in This Neck of the Woods.

Have you ever been missing something or someone but only became aware of their absence upon their return? Well that was me, or at least my experience, day before yesterday while visiting a neighbor when we were both graced by a mom and her baby. A cow moose mom and her two-year old calf baby, that is. They were munching their way through the yard, enjoying the tasty birch trees and snacking on snow to wash down the significant amount of roughage. My neighbor and I even got to have eye-to-eye contact with mama moose as she peered through the living room windows, perhaps curious as to what was being served for dinner behind the four walls.

While watching the moose go about their day, I realized how much I have missed their moose-y presence this winter. With the exception of this cow and calf I have only seen two other moose all winter. Where I used to live, at the Compound, in a more country like setting, I had grown accustomed to frequent and almost daily sightings of these majestic and dignified looking creatures. In fact, there was a mama moose who I had the honor of watching for five winters and summers. She sported a large healed but jagged grey scar along her left side and gave birth to two sets of twins during our acquaintanceship.

So last night while playing Scrabble with a friend at my dining room table, I was happy and pleased to see my second sighting of this new-to-me neighborhood mom moose and calf strolling through the deep snow right outside my windows. While scarfing down the tender birch branches, the snow would fall onto their furry faces, highlighting their long lush eyelashes ~ a picture perfect moment for sure.

So I did what I am wont to do upon spying any wild animal within reach of my human species ~I send a prayer for their safety up to the Heavens that be, quickly followed by my prayer of thanks-giving to share the Earth with such beauty.

Oh Ms. Mama Moose how I have missed you.
Thank you for reminding me of your presence on this planet.
Thank you for filling a void in my winter that only you can fill.
Blessed be to you and your baby ~

It’s time. I can feel it in my bones. And if I close my eyes and take a deep breath, I might even conjure up a whiff of chimney smoke.

Let’s light it up. Get a little fire going in the old fireplace. Let’s heat this place up and turn the lights down low. Let’s settle in for a little quiet time by the hearth. Can you hear it? The snap, crackle and pop as the flames lick up and around the dry wood.

Ahh. I’m there. What are you waiting for. Let’s light it up.

Shift change. Winter Sun with us now.

Quiet.
Pale comparison.

Gone, orange still warm autumn sun ~ our faces cast upward ~ soaking in each ray’s warmth.

Winter begins today.
(c)junemoon 2011

Gone. Almost all the brilliantly hued leaves have fallen from their mother trees. Many lie strewn across vast areas of lawns or wooded areas. Some have been captured and await their recyled fates in big black plastic bags.

Still. A few stragglers. Hangers on, so to speak. They twirl in the wind as if fastened with invisible super glue or maximum strength non-waxed dental floss to the branches. Bound to their mothers and begging to stay for just a while longer.

The winds have been fierce, off and on. My chimes playing musical notes occasionally in the night.

My grandkiddos assert their readiness for snow already. Riding their longboards on the still naked asphalt streets right up until the first measurable snow fall. Then they will be onto, literally, their snowboards. Racing down hills, leaving patterns on the snowy hills from where they swooshed and turned. Tricks attempted, accomplished or tried again.

But for now, I spy with my little dark brown eye something orange in color and small in size fluttering against a backdrop of brown, silver and black tree trunks.

Snow could fall. Any day now. October has arrived. And here in the Land of Eternal Darkness, Ice and Snow Except for When the Glorious Spring, Summer, and Fleeting Autumn Bless Us With Their Presence, October heralds the beginnings of the Season of Eternal Darkness, Ice and Snow.

The overnight temps are dipping lower, now in the mid-to high 30’s, except for the occasional Jack Frost visits here in the lowlands. Higher in the mountains, winter has already arrived. We lowlanders can see what we non-fondly call termination dust on the peaks and even in the higher elevated valleys. What looks like a dusting to us is most likely tantamount to a couple of feet of snow up there.

Some folks are rejoicing right about now and are already inpatiently looking for any sign they can find that will point to a snow-filled winter. These winter sport’s enthusiasts are a mixed bag of humanity. Some seeking the solitude and solace of a moonlit cross-country ski. Others looking to jar their fillings out of their teeth as they buzz along their man-made skidoo trails on their skidoos and all-terrain vehicles. And then there are the dog mushing set; some from the true frontier’s experience, others hoping to find that back-to-nature while being pulled by a bevy of dogs. Thrill seeking downhill ski’ers and snowboarders. Solitary backwoodspeople, hikers, overnighters, some staying for a week or two. The winter bicyclists sporting studs on their tires and headlamps on their hats. And let’s not forget the sledders and the snowball fighter’s ~ it’s all fun until someone gets hurt ~ remember that saying?

And to be truthful, there is a part of me, small as it may be, that remembers the childlike wonder of the first snow fall. I actually enjoyed winter sports for parts of my life. Not recently. Not even by a long shot of the imagination. But be that as it may, October is here. I can choose to either go along to get along or fight it tooth and nail to no avail or difference will it make, other than draining my energy. I mean really, junemoon, here the Earth is preparing this beautiful gift of a season, and you dare to reject Her gift?

Put that in your pipe and chew on it for a while. [That does not sound quite right]

Okay.
Hello October! Said with gayety and anticipation!
Any day now.
Why not today?

Even if I’m not all the way there yet with the seasonal enthusisasm, I can fake it ’til I make it, right?
Soooo, once more with feeling ~

Well, Helloooo there October ❤

Indeed, the tide is out on this lovely stretch of usually rocky beach. The view from my bluff perch takes in the bay, the green islands across the bay, and the snow covered mountains behind the islands. All of that, plus a growing width of sand, tide pools and eddies strewn with seaweed, shells, and beachy critters. Two-legged humans are strolling, running, and skipping and some are accompanied by stick fetching dog companions and canine swimmers.

Lots of cloud coverage with the sun playing a game of peek-a-shine every now and then.

There is a huge black and white barge moving steadily down the baywater.

Happy holidays my blogging friends, buddies, unknown-to-me’s, readers, and writers ~

November 2017
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