Following the elusive, the mystery, the silence

I make my way through the forest.

Around me

tall white pines and bare oaks.

Slender green needle sprays

and curls of old leaves.

The only sounds are
me breathing hard,
a caw, caw, caw here and there,
the crunch of my steps
as I walk through deep snow.
I am following a deer trail.
Sweet, narrow paths
occasionally dotted
and splashed.
My gait is slow
and noisy.

I am following where
they have led me.
I stop.

The trail opens into
an oval,
a shallow depression
in the snowy forest floor.
They have slept here,
bent a twig, flattened leaves.

I sink to my knees,
hands together,
head bowed.
Teach me your ways,
brother and sister.
I want to know your
mystery, your elusiveness,
how to be silent.
Teach me your ways.

I trail one ungloved
finger along a smooth
tableau of white.
Cold, heat, wet sting.

Angles of sun
bend light along
the grainy whiteness.
Tiny prisms of color.
I don't know how long
I have been here,
but my breathing is easier
and I turn.

I want to know
what is like to sleep
on the forest floor
so I lay down and look up.
High above, leafless branches
sway and touch and gently tap
to each other.

What was white is
turning softly to pink.

Time to sit by the fire
and sip tea.
I must go back.

Soon the deer will emerge.


jinksy said…
Loved the stillness that came from words and pictures, as you communed with nature...
Mimi said…
Oh wow, Kathleen, this is just so peaceful. Slows everything down just reading it. I can't believe you really lay down on the forest floor, on the snow! I'm shivering just thinking about it!
steven said…
kathleen this is absolutely beautiful! i'm so grateful to have the chance to take this walk with you. have a lovely day. steven
Hilary said…
It's not often that I can enjoy someone else's walk about as much as I do my own. This surely was one of those times. Thank you for this beauty.
Derrick said…
Hi Kathleen,

It was nice to accompany you and see a lot of things I would have missed! Keep warm.
Gaston Studio said…
Beautiful, peaceful walk in the woods; thanks for taking me with you.
Kathleen said…
@Jinksy: Thanks, dear one. There was such peace on those woods. I truly wanted to share it. But nary a deer siting.
Kathleen said…
@Mimi: Hah! It was surprisingly warm that day. Into the 30s. I had overbundled, so laying in the snow was a nice way to cool down. Glad you enjoyed the walk.
Kathleen said…
@Steven: I'm so glad you joined me on my walk! The peace settled all around me and I breathed it in. To be so lucky.
Kathleen said…
@Hilary: Well, my dear, you and your walks are an inspiration! Hope it gave you a moment of peace. Sadly, I never saw any fauna. I look to your posts for that! :)
Kathleen said…
@Derrick: And do you take walks in the woods often, Derrick? Highly recommended, especially with camera in tow. The older I get, the more I think I need to live somewhere a little wilder than the city! :)
Kathleen said…
@Jane: Hello, my friend. Thank you for joining me on my walk. It was a pleasure to have your company!
ellen abbott said…
Oh Kathleen, I wish I was there. So beautiful. And so nice to have you back.
Anonymous said…
"Simple life" brilliantly illustrated on your forest walk. Leave any snow angels behind?
Barb said…
Hello Kathleen,
Your words mesmerized me, and the photos opened up my world. The second to last with the pink glow on the trail and in the sky - glorious!
slommler said…
Such soothing words and the pictures are magnificent!!
Cricket said…
Wow. A virtual walk-in-the-woods. Well done, words and pictures both. Congratulations on the potw.

Someone thought you were crazy to lie down in the snow? I once got it in my head to walk barefoot in the snow, just to see. I suggest everyone try it once. Really.
Alix said…
Oh Kathleen. This post made my breath catch in my chest and my eyes mist over. You knocked me OUT.

The images.
The softness of your thoughts.
Laying in the deer's bedding.

Wow. Just wow.

Congratulations on Post of the Week. Hillary is definitely at the top of her game with this choice.

I love you.
Anonymous said…
What a beautiful soothing and contemplative post with lots of fabulous photos!

Daryl said…
Congrats on 'being' the POTW from Hilary .. exquisite words/verse
Fab images, truly...well deserved POTW from Hilary!!

saz x
TSannie said…
Wow! I can definitely see why this is post of the week. Congratulations! Love your words.
ethelmaepotter! said…
I had to walk with you twice, to absorb again the beauty you so eloquently pointed out.
Magnificent post. Well-deserved POTW!
She Writes said…
Lovely! Here from Hilary's POTW.
Janie said…
Beautiful photos from your meditative walk. We can learn a lot from the creatures of the forest.
Dianne said…

I was holding my breath as I read and took in the incredible images


kudos on POTW
Kathleen said…
@Ellen: Thank you, my friend, it's been a while, but as you can see, the time out was most restorative. What's it gonna take to get you up here for a visit?
Kathleen said…
@Linda: Didn't need to make any; I was accompanied by so many!
Kathleen said…
@Barb: What kind words. Thank you so very much. So glad I could share the beauty of that walk with you. Pink snow is so fleeting and so beautiful. I was a lucky gal to be in the right place at the right time, that's for sure!
Kathleen said…
@SueAnn: I'm so pleased you found the words and images soothing. That's exactly what I experienced. That--and grace!
Kathleen said…
@Cricket: That's a grand idea, walking in the snow with bare feet. I've actually done that--after taking a Finnish sauna up north. I was SO hot, that was the only thing that cooled me off. I also rubbed snow on my skin to stop the steaming! That's the cleanest think I've ever felt!
Kathleen said…
@Alix: Hi sweet thing! I'm just delighted this post touched you so. The experience was so grand there was no way I could keep it to myself. Thank you so much for taking it in!
And I love you back!!!
Kathleen said…
@ladyfi: Thank you so much. That Hilary sure knows how to make a gal's day, doesn't she?
Kathleen said…
@Daryl: Wow! Exquisite--I'm liking that! Thank you for your most generous comment!
Kathleen said…
@Saz: Thank you so much for visiting! I hope you'll come back. More tales from the north to follow!
Kathleen said…
@TSannie: Thank you for loving my words! So happy I could share them; it would have been a shame to keep that amazing experience to myself. So thank you for reading it!
Kathleen said…
@Ethelmaepotter: Wonderful! I'm so honored that you read the words twice. And I hope it wasn't because I confused you. Such a stream of consciousness...I just needed to get that experience onto the page so others could imbibe of the peace of that day! Your comment is much appreciated!
Kathleen said…
@SheWrites: Welcome! Thank you so much for having a look. I hope you'll come back again soon! I'll be stopping by visit you as well!
Kathleen said…
@Janie: Thank you, my dear. As you are one who shares so generously what you learn, I am most grateful for your comment. I'm beginning to think the city just isn't "wild" enough for me anymore. Need a neighbor in Utah? ;)
Kathleen said…
@Dianne: Oh, dear. I didn't mean for you to hold your breath! I'm so glad you joined me on my walk, and grateful you enjoyed it!
Joanna Jenkins said…
Congratulations on your Post of the Week from Hilary at The Smitten Image. It's easy to see why is on the top of the list. Your words and photos are stunning.

It's nice to meet you. I'll be back again soon.

Kathleen said…
@Joanna: Thank you for your lovely comments and your visit! Please come back soon!
Sarah Laurence said…
Absolutely stunning images and words! You live among such gorgeous natural splendor. Thanks for sharing!
Kathleen said…
@Sarah: As do you, my dear, as do you. We are lucky women, aren't we? I have a friend who is willing to teach me oil painting. It'll be a lonnnnng time before I post anything I paint, but I sure am looking forward to learning. Your work is most inspiring!

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