The day begins with a stillness…


As the sun rises low on the southern horizon and casts long shadows. This place of wildness is nestled on the 47th latitude, the sun travels at 19.6o across the sky during the shortest days of the year.


The light softens this time of year as millions of snowflakes and fog crystals find their way to every surface available. It’s my favorite time of year, when man’s conventional fossil fuel dependent combines sit frozen and impotent. The noise is silenced.


Instead of lifeless dust driven into the air by machines that give nothing back to the soil, at this time of year, the environs are blanketed in life giving moisture. Here the snowflakes find refuge and shine like diamonds in the morning sun.


By observing nature we learn how the trees collect the water, dropping the crystals to the ground around them and infusing the soil with water.


I contemplate the difference between ‘being employed’ and ‘making a living’ as I move in this beautiful landscape; collecting eggs from the chickens safe and warm inside the green house, filling the bucket of fire wood for the stove. There is time to contemplate what I see; snow drifts, fog ice, contrasts between blue sky and white branches.



Nature contains patterns inherent in all life on the planet. One of those patterns is the six sided form expressed in snowflakes, beehive combs, tortoise shells.


From One Man’s Wilderness Dick Proenneke reflects “Needs? I guess that is what bothers so many folks. They keep expanding their needs until they are dependent on too many things and too many other people. I don’t understand economics, and I suppose the country would be in a real mess if people suddenly cut out a lot of things they don’t need. I wonder how many things in the average American home could be eliminated if the question were asked, ‘must I really have this?’ I guess most of the extras are chalked up to comfort or saving time.”


I think about this in terms of my own life and the lives of others. For decades, abundance, opportunity, and choice have been the norm, but it seems, as of late, many are beginning to question; at what price? Are we really any happier, less anxious, more connected? Are we truly living life or are our things living us?

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Love, Quietude, Stillness and Connection are real. Nature has provided us with patterns. If we seek to understand how these patterns express themselves, we can find a different path. We don’t actually lose, or live a life of less abundance, we shift perspective instead and contemplate values. We give ourselves a chance to find beauty and magic in the smaller simpler ways of being.

IMG_1078I’m fully cognizant of the complexity of a centralized debt based society – and equally intrigued as to how we might change it. Attempting to find alternatives can be tricky. Maybe fun too.

snow sliding


Happy New Year