Winter, for me, is a time for quiet contemplation. I am been intentionally making myself rest and reflect for large periods of the day. This is unusual for me because I am always busy, always on the go, always doing the next thing before the present thing is even completed. Winter has helped me to slow down, to consider possibilities, to wonder what my next careful step will be. I put all the rushing and doing on pause. I want to enjoy my solitude and begin to like myself again.
At home and at school, I have been thinking about what it means to belong. People put themselves into all kinds of groups: family, teams, organizations, cliques, clubs, etc. We have a inner need to belong to someone or something. That is what makes us human. We seek connection all our lives. It is the basis of government, religion, and culture. But a majority of this needing to belong is temporary and capricious. As I grow (and I’ve been growing for the last six decades), I realize more and more that I belong to myself and to nature. Nature makes me feel large and small at the same time. Nature reminds me of my purpose on this pretty planet. The moon, the stars, the trees are all connected to me and I to them. They are solid and steadfast, something to hold on to. They will go on after me. I am the fleeting, ephemeral one. But the stars, the clouds, the snow falling – these things are faithful and true.
Belonging I walk on the road at night, Mittened and muffled. The street strewn with Milky crystal squares of salt, The streetlamps shiver yellow, The moon, in front of me, Sliced off in a graceful curve, A Waning Gibbous, I think, Following a Full Moon - Lighting the way. I walk alone, No one else inhabits, This place at this time, I belong here - This road, this lamppost, The frozen pond, The imperfect circle Of the moon Are all mine. I belong to them, And they to me. I am here alone - The silent moon, The meandering road, The new fallen snow, And me, a dark spot, Finding my way.