Monday, January 17, 2011

Deep Winter Whispering

"Grandmother", clay, wool & feathers

The snows have come like an ancient, 
whispering grandmother, silent and powerful.  
Walking through the cold crunch of snow, 
listening to cracking trees and high, 
whistling winds, I hear winter stories 
from deep within my bones. 

Deep dreaming brings me always to my ancestors. I 
wonder about those ancient ones who survived winters
in the Northern lands of Latvia and beyond. There were 
ancestors who came from Bohemia and others from the 
Celtic lands. Still others from Georgia, so my father heard.
Though I wish their stories had been handed down like 
the silver, the story-chains have broken. It is in these times 
of deep dreaming, that something of them rises to the 
surface and broken threads are mended through my 
remembering of them. 

As a granddaughter of northern folk,   
I wonder if it is woven into me to love the 
quiet whispering of winter, and to feel 
the ancestral stories pulsing through me 
as I sit at the fire. 

Winter has blessed the forest with light and fluffy 
snow so far, with cold days and bitter nights.
Pasha and I find ourselves warming by the 
fire long into the morning. I enjoy daily 
walks in the forest or along the road, 
but Pasha is finding it just a bit too cold 
to sustain a long walk.  

Before the snows were too deep, 
I could convince him to join me for a romp 
around the yard, but as more and more 
snow has fallen, and temperatures dip 
way below freezing, I find myself 
keeping company with the puffed-up 
birds and burrowing red squirrels. 

(Do click to see the tunneling red squirrel, above)

The last storm dumped over two feet of snow, 
making getting out the back door a challenge!

The snow piles and banks along the paths grow 
steadily higher. Tonight we are expecting 
another four to eight inches. 

The snow has found itself a lovely throne in the 
winter garden, Pasha's spot for an
afternoon nap in summer. 

On my snowshoe through the forest, 
I am captivated by the simple lines of a
delicate branch, starkly contrasting with the 
white field of snow

Deep in the woodlands, the snow has 
decorated the trunks
with stripes. 

There is a magical beauty in the winter light, 
and a mysterious comfort I feel when the house 
is all tucked in with snow. 

Pasha questions my decision to stay out hours at a time, 
here he has crawled through the secret passageway 
to the porch and pleads with me to let him in, 
he has had enough!

On my way home from an afternoon errand, the sky
was full of winter fire in the west, 

while behind me in the east, the waxing moon rose 
 in the cool, blue sky. 

 I watch the moon glowing through the hemlocks 
as I write. Still no sign of the storm they say is coming, 
but my larder is stocked in case 
I'm house-bound tomorrow. 
Classes begin for me on Wednesday,
and another rhythm to my days.
The deepest of winter dreaming 
fades as the days grow slowly longer. 
With the slight lengthening of daylight, 
so, too, some shift in me. I feel a 
new inspiration, and look forward to 
seeing what stories emerge as 
I turn once again to my work. 


Velma Bolyard said...

i am right there, right here, in moonlight, in cold, in snow, in winter, and in the hope of returning daylight, though i love the darkness quite well. no sundance at day's end, just crows messing about with their roosts in town, out here, an empty indigo sky. weather coming, they say.

steven said...

today - a winter sky filled with river mist steaming violet, tangerine and pale blue. the trees rimed with frost. crows on a branch. the trees stand entirely still. we're so blessed with such fullness!!!! steven

stregata said...

You must have an ancestral connection to the snow...
Ours is all melted, except for where it was piled really high while clearing. But winter is not over yet and they are predicting a drop in the temperature, so there may be more to come.

Samual said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Penny Berens said...

I'm with Pasha! Only joking. I do find winter wondrous but not when it's still around in March and April!

mairedodd said...

so very lovely - poetry of words and images that become timeless... i find such comfort in the winter as well... i am drawn to the quiet... my relative hail from scandinavia and northern europe - wouldn't be surprising if there was a genetic connection to the season...

Jasmine said...

You live in such a wonderland. So beautiful, and inspiring. I can almost smell the snow in the woods through your pictures xJ

illustration poetry said...

granddaughter of northern folk... i like that.

Unknown said...

A wonderful post to read before heading out to the day job this morning, V - Flossy and I have done our slippery flashlight walk along the road, sorry to see our deep fluffy snow of the past few days now turning to rain as the Japanese current swings closer to the Alexander Archipelago again. Blessings to you and Pasha. - sus

elle s'ennuie said...

I love your words and pictures and the stories the two create together. I found your blog a few weeks ago, and read through all of it, to the very beginning, in a couple of days. There's something so serene and relaxing about reading about your life in your forest, with Pasha and the foxes and bears and birds and trees... I look forward to each new post. And delighted to find out that you have an ancestral connection close to here - I am a little bit further up north of Latvia. :)

Joe Madl said...

my heart hums and fills my ears with silent contentment whenever i dip into your wonderful blog!

A mermaid in the attic said...

So beautiful, Valerianna. And a joy to read when our hot, dry summer stretches into April and even May! We have no flooding here, but up further north, near the town of Carnarvon they've had some devastating flooding, though thankfully no lives lost. News from the East coast continues to shock, just the sheer vastness of it. At the moment we have the opposite problem, not enough water...but this year may be a wet one for us too.

ramona said...

Oh, how I love a good snowed in feeling! Winter in all its splendor!
Pasha is so expressive in his pleading face to be let in. What a beauty is he. Best wishes on your return to classes.

elle s'ennuie said...

I'm in Estonia - yet close as it is to Latvia, I've actually never been there, despite having made plans to go for several summers. I do love kitties, but alas, most of the ones pictured on my blog are not mine :) And my own kitty is a little scaredycat, not nearly as brave and adventurous as Pasha!

Della said...

Your winter forest images are so calming and serene, how lucky to have an abode there :) – it's so full of poetry.

elle s'ennuie said...

Wow, 1984, you saw this little nook of Europe during a very different era then.
We had a few days of thaw, now back to a snow blanket over everything - I don't mind winter, I quite like it, but I do wish it didn't last so darn long!

Such a Wondrous Place this Faery Space said...

Hi dear! so sorry it took so long for me to repond to the paint color question!!! It is called Gleeful Green and I picked it up at the Ace hardware in town. I love it, but, it does not reflect light, which is a bit of a drag in the winter, especially. It is a warm wonderful feeling, like having moss on the walls all year! hope that helps! Blessings and btw the pictures above took me to another world. Magical! Blessings.

Valerianna said...

Velma - wonder if you got the ice storm we did? I'm drawn into the story of your place with your words....

Steven - "river mist steaming violet", sounds beautiful!

stregata - We had a melt for a day or so, then an ice storm and then more snow... so it is in winter, I wonder if you'll get more...

Penny - I love winter through to the end! Even the brown, muddy ending..... its summer that can get a little challenging for me, at least when its extremely hot and humid.

mariedodd - yes, I wonder about that....though I do know folks from the northern land who would rather live in the south!

Jasmine- I wonder about the smell of snow..... I surely know the smell of rain, for me, I think my association with the smell of snow is the slight tinge of wood smoke I smell when out and about in the forest..

sympathy- me too!

susan- wonder if the arctic air has come back to you with snow-offerings?

elle- welcome to RavenWood, and glad you found some serenity and relaxation reading my stories here.... The land brings me that, for sure.

Joe- oh, glad to offer you that!

mermaid- glad to hear you're safe from the flooding, what devastation. Wishing you just enough water...

ramona - I did capture one of Pasha's most expressive moments. He's definitely NOT a dull companion!

elle- Ahhh, Estonia, I loved visiting there sooo many years ago. Tallinn. In 1984, still so Soviet. Riga, too. I thought Riga quite beautiful, especially the old city....

Della - it definitely inspires poetry in me, this forest.

Faery Space- thanks, I'll check it out! Gleeful Green.... funny name!