by Marlene Depler
Winter days, long and cold: I hunker down within my walls.
I have little enthusiasm for going out and about.
Today the sunshine coaxes me to overcome my hesitation
to brave the cold. I pull on a second pair of socks,
my coat, and purple gloves, stepping outside under a canvas of clear blue.
Fresh, cold air fills my lungs. I watch my breath---
then fall into a pleasant rhythm: right, left, right left.
I find room for uninterrupted contemplation in this open space.
I think about dormancy in nature as I view leaftless trees and barren rose bushes---
then wonder if I am in my own season of dormancy.
I notice the contrasts around me: the soft, virgin snow and the hard, crusty ice,
turned brown from passing cars. And the never-fading evergreens with the bare-
branched variety. Life is filled with contrasts, I conclude. Joy and sorrow, pleasure
and pain, success and failure. On I walk alone with my thoughts, one thought
cascading into another, until I finally turn to follow my lengthening shadow home.
I haven't seen a singe critter, I muse. Where are the birds and squirrels and fox?
Just then I am startled by a bird huddles in a nearby barberry bush,
soon followed by a honking "V" of geese flying directly overhead.
I smile. I walk on in pleasant reverie. I arrive home invigorated.
I promise to rendezvous with myself for a winter's walk once again---and soon.
(c) Marlene Depler 20010