Saturday, February 13, 2010

Pink Winter Moon

The pink winter moon arises full over a pine filled valley. It hangs in the eastern pastel sky like a smooth marble stone. January is waning, and the cold temperatures of February have made an early appearance. There isn’t a breath of wind to clear the exhaust of my own breathing, and the frozen clouds get caught in my beard and form ice as I walk down the twilight trail. The reflected light of the moon highlights the snow that bends the pine branches low and covers the ground with a foot or more of insulation. This too, reflects light.

As the pit faced marble gains height and brilliance, and the stars fight to shine through the cracks in the accumulating clouds, I move through the forest floor listening to the rhythm of my breath and the squeak-crunch of my mukluks on the packed snow. There is no other sound that filters through these trees. The silence rings in my ears when I stop to listen to it.

Everything is heavy with snow. One flake at a time the last snowfall tried to bow everything to the ground. Speckled Alders along the trail made archways to pass under. Drooping pine boughs held aloft buckets of snow delicately waiting for a slight disturbance to unload their burden. Hard woods, overcome by the weight, snap and topple across the path. I duck under the arches, dodge the prankster pines and crawl over the defeated maple. This one trail, this one moment in the woods alone, has awakened in me something that has been asleep for far too long.

Tonight I looked into the moonlight and allowed it to look back into me. My job has been stressful and I have felt inadequate at my performance. A failed love life, ailing family members, and the loss of access to friends have made for a whirlwind of thoughts and feelings that have been laborious to carry. As I often do I retreat to the woods to clean my slate and center myself. This hike in the frozen world of Northern Minnesota reminded me that I need to get over myself.

There is too much beauty, too much breath taking beauty all around to focus solely on one thing. There is a miracle in every-thing. How self centered I had become. Jobs and girls fade. Friends are always there when you call on them. When I stared into the world around me I opened up to a larger universe than what I had created for myself.

Life is bigger than you, or me. Share your flavor of wine and laugh with a friend, or stand in the moonlight--let the beauty of the moment soak in--and cry. Either way you’ll be glad you did.


  1. Share your flavor of wine atop a moss covered gazebo, circled by close friends from far away and forget for a moment that you are so closely surrounded by a city, a rat-race, a busy place.