Saturday, February 19, 2011

What Do the Trees Say?

The wind is howling through the trees again today. This winter, I have been very aware of the forest that hugs the back of our land. I often think that it rests an arm around us to keep us safe. The last six weeks have been all about the forces of nature here. We’ve had snow beyond our wildest dreams, followed by ice and power outages. At one point, the branches of the trees were coated with ice. When I walked out to the barn late one night to give the horses more hay, the forest was cracking and rattling and making so much noise. The trees were talking. The next morning, the wind was softer, and the conversation was more like a whisper.

The horses have had a really hard time, not being able to run at all or even walk very far into the pasture. The snow was almost as high as the fences. As everything melted, the ground that was cleared turned to ice. Silk slipped and almost fell a couple of times, so she’s sticking close to the barn. I am so thankful that both of the girls have remained in good spirits and are taking this all in stride. Every time I get cranky or frustrated, I go out and spend a few moments with them to restore my equilibrium.

It was so warm the last few days that I was finally able to take off the horses’ blankets. I was shocked. For the first time, Silk looked old to me. She seems frail, and we will have to work to get her back in shape when the snow is gone. I can’t believe that she will be 23 in April. Yesterday, as I brushed her, I was thinking back on all the cycles of all the seasons that we have been together. So much has happened in 13 years.

I am feeling that the lessons I have learned in my life keep circling back to make me go deeper and see more each time I face them. Watching the birds and the animals get through this difficult winter reminds me that no matter how great the challenges are, it’s our spirit and our will to live that helps us find the strength to move forward.

Looking around at all the political turmoil in our country and around the world, I am witnessing cycles of change that are much larger and have a greater impact than what’s happening in my small universe. Some are uplifting and some are frightening, but all are beyond my control. Yet, if we can only stay true to our own compass, treating everyone around us with kindness and doing what we can, we will collectively improve this tired old earth. I am constantly aware of all the bright, good people that come in and out of my life each day, making a difference even when things get really tough.

Listening to the wind this morning, resilience is the song that the trees are singing to me.