Posted by: highmountainmuse | May 14, 2009

Feeling the seasons

Looking back at our home on a May afternoon

Looking back at our home on a May afternoon

On the other side River Hill the Aspen leaves are opening, crowing the silver branches with a pale green haze, soft as smoke wafting around up the hillside, a promise of what will be rising up the mountain, day by day, as the season inches its way higher.


Baby geese are all already out swimming with their proud parents around Road Canyon reservoir where the ice fishermen were what seems like just yesterday.


And a single bald eagle soars down from the rocky, austere face of Bristol Head mountain to the ponds in the flats where the elk winter.


All this and more on a quick trip to the vet to pull the stitches from the well healed Malakitty, no longer looking much like a Frankenkitty.


Would I be less complete if I missed the changing of the seasons?  Would I feel out of place if I failed to notice the swollen tips of the budding branches ready to burst forth with new life, new leaves?


I have moved plenty and long for solid grounding. That which comes with the seeing, feeling, understanding and being a part of the change of seasons. The completeness of the cycle each year. Is it the longing for acceptance, perhaps, the wish to be a part of the land? Or maybe the ability to blend in as unpretentious and natural as the deer in the woods? It has become an important part of me, to allow myself to be and change with the seasons, with the land, and yet, I can not get too comfortable.  The impermanence of life on the mountain looms large all around me.


At what point do we really know the land?  The mountain can look and feel the same when we remain looking from the same perspective, the same point of view, and same time every day, every year.


I could stay home and look at the same view from my front porch day after day and the mountain would seem rather simple and similar. But when we start to go out into her, to explore every hill and draw, trail and off trail route we can find, our eyes open up.  We begin to see how little we really know.  How small and insignificant we really are. How unimportant our need for importance really is.


To be out there, to feel the seasons change, be a part of the transformations. There allows the completeness of the circle.  There are great mysteries, but no voids. Empty space is replaced with intimacy, understanding, acceptance.


Suddenly it is warm again.  I do evening chores in shirt sleeves.  I consider changing my jeans for shorts mid day (but I don’t go there more than a time or two every summer, as my bright white legs will attest).


The mountain has turned temperate and easy. She spills forth with abundance and life, with energy and color, with open rivers and trails.


  1. I’m homesick! Yesterday I was just wondering at what stage the aspen leaves were in.

    I read your High Mountain Horse Blog this morning, also. Congratulations on winning the contest! The piece was absolutely incredible and you know, even though I know you grew up in New York, I always forget it…glad you found your way “home” to the mountains!

  2. I hate to say this, Karen, but it is so extrememly beautiful out there right now. We just had lunch on the deck, and you just can’t stay inside… as they say, “wish you were here…” But September is equally as beautiful. I suppose most every day is, isn’t it?

  3. I feel the same way about our NH mountains, although they’re on a much smaller scale than yours. I just wouldn’t be happy living somewhere where the seasons aren’t as dramatically different as they are here, or where you are. Spring is definitely here to stay with summer right around the corner. It’s only a few short months though before the fall season will be here again with the chill of winter in the night air. Great post. Thanks.

  4. I grew up in Alaska. I love the mountains and wilderness and have spent many hours being one with nature. I am currently in Utah and still enjoy living in and around the mountains.

    Wonderful Post.

  5. Hi Ed, Thanks for writing. I’ve never been to Alaska, and bet you have some amazing stories to tell growing up there! I’m curious about the image for your “avitar.” Please tell me more…

  6. Hi Sandy, my folks grew up outside Boston, and we’d vacation in Vermont when I was a kid. I don’t know as I’ve been to NH, but imagine it’s pretty awesome like the rest of that part of our country. The seasons there are incomparable. Yes, summer is short and winter a little long, as it is here. But such drama and beauty and excitement in those changes. I can’t imagine missing that.

  7. […] gains and losses, rights and wrongs of our lives are as natural and “perfect” as the peaks and valleys of a mountain range. For in identifying God, the Absolute, with a goodness excluding evil we make it impossible for us […]

  8. “The mountain has turned temperate and easy. She spills forth with abundance and life, with energy and color, with open rivers and trails.” Ah, Gin! This is as good glorious God as it gets (truly!). Thank you for voicing the mountain and unfolding your walks, the seasons, life and living so eloquently. You are such a powerhouse.

  9. Ruth, I was sitting by the rushing creek thinking of the photos I’ve enjoyed of your beloved Telullah River. This one was firey and full of force, not quite the feeling of tranquillity I get from those photos of yours. But the run off will subside here, too, and we’ll find that peaceful place.


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