Walking on Water

It wasn’t 48 degrees today.  The sun was not shining.  In fact it was downright ugly, cold, and gray. But you’ll have days like that.  Life can’t always be perfect.

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Some days you feel as though you could walk on water.  Other days…you wonder and question and just try to make it through.

Today, in the midst of another dreary winter day in Vermont, I walked on water…

The first step is the hardest.  There is uncertainty and fear.

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But you keep going. Feeling brave and confident and free…

The shoreline looks easier…and safer

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But that isn’t why you are here.

And suddenly you feel a deep sense of joy because you are doing it.  Really doing it.

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Gratitude…because you have opportunities to walk on water, literally…

and figuratively.

Thankful for the people, both unknown

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and known, who have helped to make those opportunities possible.

Who have supported and encouraged you…

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And so very glad, that despite fear and caution…

You took the first step…

Daydreaming

It was 48 degrees today. Above zero. Sunny and warm. I could almost taste it…spring is coming. Then I saw the forecast for the week. And my spring bubble burst.

Cold and snowy.

It is still winter.

As I was cleaning up my pictures files today…I came across some that sent me daydreaming…

Of spring.

Of green lushness…

Of the world coming back to life…

And of the open road…

I know it’s coming. I just need to be patient. And remember that every season has its unique beauty.

Even winter…

A Different Kind of Award

Two days ago I got a letter.  It wasn’t one I was expecting. I honestly had forgotten in this crazy rush of life that I had applied…

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I think I’m still in shock…

I have been given a fellowship. I will spend 10 days working with leading scientists studying climate change…in the Arctic Circle.

Yes…the Arctic Circle.

Not your average everyday kind of adventure!

I will be staying in a little town called Churchill. In Manitoba, Canada. Know as the polar bear and beluga whale capital of the world!

Visit http://www.everythingchurchill.com to learn more about this incredible place.

I am beyond excited…

What an amazing opportunity! I am humbled and extremely grateful!

And so…

Come July, I will be blogging from the Arctic Circle.

I hope you’ll join me!

Fire Tower

There is something exhilarating about climbing a fire tower. And there are quite a few of these relics scattered around our state. Sitting atop mountains…a remnant from the past. No longer in use. Technology having taken their place.

I have climbed a few in my day.

Usually after a challenging hike…a bonus reward at the summit…not just a spectacular view but a fire tower too.

Today, for whatever reason, I had a yearning to climb one of those towers. I didn’t want to do a huge mountain hike though, wading through two feet of fresh snow…but I wanted the reward of a tower.

Luckily for me there is a fire tower nearby. Practically in my backyard. Or 7 miles  over in the next town.

Allis State Park.

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I discovered it this fall. And I fell in love. Not only is it secluded and lovely, but there is a fire tower.

It’s not easy to find. Closed in the winter. The sign taken down. The road to the gate barely plowed.

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What a perfect day. It was cold…the sun and blue skies deceptive. But I was dressed for it and excited to make the mile long snowshoe trek up to the fire tower.

God bless snowmobilers…they had recently traveled through the park making my trek much easier.

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The snow from the recent storm coats the trees, branches bending from the weight of it. The brilliant sun casts long and intricate shadows.

The snowmobile trail ends and we make our own tracks…sinking far into the snow…

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Until the tower appears…

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It looms and stretches upward..its steel supports strong and enduring.

I take off my snowshoes and prepare to ascend.

I don’t have a fear of heights…yet looking up and seeing the top…so far away…isn’t easy. Your legs tremble a bit…your breath catches…and your stomach does a few somersaults.

I stop part way up.  Even there the view is stunning…

But it is the top…the 360 degree views that take your breath away.

Orion waits for me…down below. He’s not a fan of fire tower stairs…

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The wind whips around the tower…but the sun is warm on my face. I don’t want to leave.

I take a deep breath and inhale the view one last time…

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And descend…

Lessons from a Snow Dog

 It’s getting a bit more difficult these days…to find that eternal optimism that has seen me through countless other harsh winters. I know it’s there, but too many bitter cold days…and very little snow is getting to even me!

So I decided this weekend, I needed to find a way to recapture and rekindle my winter spirit. After all, there is still more winter to come.

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Fortunately we received some fresh, fluffy snow this week. The temperatures were going to be on the warmer side…mid 20’s. And the sun was shining. I could do this. I needed to do this.

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I had no particular destination in mind. I only knew I had to go.

My dog, my snowshoes, my camera and me.

Orion is a Siberian Husky. He would love it if it were winter year round.

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I thought maybe I could learn something from him. See if he could help chase away these winter blues.

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Orion is always willing, always ready. He is my constant companion when I hike and explore. No matter what season it is. He never complains. He loves our adventures…and I love having him with me.

 Orion is a happy dog. He is full of energy and enthusiasm. Orion doesn’t have bad days. And you may notice that it appears as if he’s smiling.

He is…

We explored and hiked and admired the winter wonderland around us.

Orion bounding through the deep snow. Running ahead, chasing scents, and having dog fun. I trudged along behind him, not quite as nimble…laughing at his silliness and smiling at his joy.

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I realized how much I could learn from him.

I lay back in the snow and made a snow angel. Right there in the middle of the woods.

And Orion kissed me.

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I think I can handle winter for a little while longer…

A Love Affair

It began when I was just a girl. And it has only grown stronger over the years. Today, my love burns brighter than ever. There are times when I could even say I’m a little obsessed.

I have a love affair…

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 with ice.

There was a place when I was young.  It was behind our house, deep in the woods, and where I first fell in love with ice.

A magical world in the winter. Frozen pools of water throughout the forest. My sister and I could ice skate hours for hours and never see the same tree twice. In and out, weaving our way through this uniqe and enchanting place.

And that was all it took. The beginning of a life long relationship.

This has been the perfect winter for deepening our bond.

Bitter cold and warm thaws have created the conditions in which it grows and shines.

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I discover it every where I look. I cannot seem to capture through words or pictures the breadth of its allure and captivating beauty.

Magnificent in its simplicity…

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Fascinating in its intricacy…

Breathtaking in all its facets…

As long as I live some place, where ice can thrive, this love affair will last forever.

Although recently I’ve developed some feelings for rime…

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