Friday, February 22, 2008

Winter wonders

The pause in spring’s progress has me caught indoors again—watching school closings and weather bulletins roll across the base of my TV screen, while newscasters film spinning cars and glazed windshields.

Of all the snowy days and wintry forecasts, those arriving after we’ve begun to taste the seasons’ turn are the hardest. We grumble about its inconvenience, insistent upon keeping up the pace of our lives. And fight against the impediment nature has thrown in our path.

As I watch through the window, I wonder about the lives I cannot see.
Tucked into dens and burrows, sheltered in nests and crevices, waiting patiently for winter’s end. And wonder if we’d be more content—had we lives like theirs.
Following nature’s lead—not fighting it.

I have a bag of Black Walnuts that I gathered in the fall.
It sits, forgotten, in the laundry room—while I scurry past with every other activity of my life.
Today, I will sit down and crack them.

It is what nature suggests would be best.

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20 comments:

bobbie said...

"Following nature's lead - not fighting it." What a wonderful idea!

cestoady said...

You have captured so eloquently the essence of living in harmony with nature.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Alright Nina this sounds like a good icey day project. Now lets take that thought on and bake some cookies or bread with those walnuts in them. Yummm. Surely you have some bananas or zuchini in the freezer just waiting to be whipped into bread form. Or some flour to whip up some choco chip cookies with walnuts. YUMMMMM I am even making myself hungry. I can almost smell them.

Mary said...

Again, I'm chiming in, "Following nature's lead and not fighting it." We would be so much more content.

Just when we can smell spring in the air, winter's fury picks up. The blizzards I remember most came in February and March!

KGMom said...

Nina--so lyrical--do you mean it to be a poem?
And your moon shots are excellent. I must be one of the few who tried to get an eclipse shot and failed. Oh, I got a shot--but it looks like a dancing whirling moon.

Sandpiper said...

It's the same here today, Nina. I woke up at 3:30 am and looked out the window and I thought the weather forecast had missed its mark. By 5:30 when I got out of bed though, everything was wintry white. Lots of car accidents and the governor is sending employees home now. It's pretty outside, but I want spring to come now.

Q said...

Dear Nina,
I too am inside today. Too cold to walk. The birds are active. The Cardinals are singing, establishing their territories. I think it is too early for nesting but nature knows much better than I.
I love walnuts in my salads.
Sherry

Weeping Sore said...

Living in harmony with the seasons sounds easier than it often is. Most of the seasonal changes are happening underground, or inside buds and branches. It's always like a surprise party when they burst upon the scene from their invisible hiding places. Spring will arrive...

MojoMan said...

There's something so appropriate about one so in tune with nature cracking squirreled-away nuts in a mid-winter storm. I love to imagine a life that goes with the flow of nature. We try so hard to ignore the rhythm of the seasons, but what have we lost?

RuthieJ said...

When spring finally arrives and the snow has melted, I always enjoy seeing the maze of tunnels and runways from the little voles and mice that have survived by finding the seeds under my birdfeeders and running back and forth beneath the snow to their underground homes.
I'm sorry you're having to endure another late season snowstorm--we're supposed to have more snow next Monday. Even though it doesn't do any good to complain, I've had enough and spring is welcome to arrive anytime now!

Dorothy said...

Nina, Nature Remains is one of the most beautiful blogs I've ever visited. Your words and pictures are so poetic and lovely. I sit and think of what to say, and I end up saying nothing.
Thanks so much for the sweet moments each day I spend at your little corner of the world.

kate said...

Hi Nina,

I passed on the blog award you gave me last week to some Northern Canadian gardeners/naturalists. Then I came and read that I was supposed to pass on the award to 10. Oops... I hope that's okay.

This is one thing we haven't yet experienced... glimmers of spring then back to winter for a spell. It always happens though.

I spent some of the afternoon watching the lone neighbourhood squirrel sitting on the peak of my neighbour's house before darting off into a tree and across another rooftop.

Mathman6293 said...

I recall my mother sometimes would get black walnuts from her Aunt in Wisconsin. She would always forget about them. I've never eaten a black walnut.

Jennifer said...

Oh my gosh... that reminds me... I haven't finished cracking my hickory nuts! While you're doing walnuts, I'll be doing hickory. Thanks for the reminder.

Benjamin Burner said...

I love this post! Your writing flows so nicely. I can't say how much I agree with you. I really think the world would be better off if it listened to the natural world. I’m going to link to your site from my blog. As for those wintery days: snowshoes.

Cathy said...

Nina. You nailed it. The difference.

Nature "waits patiently . . ."

We fidget.

But Nature wasn't driven indoors for months. Cabin fever is epidemic in February.

This was lovely. Find a window with strong southern light and enjoy your walnut cracking.

Old Wom Tigley said...

One of my very favourite poems comes to mind after reading your post today.. I'm sure you will have heard it before.

Leisure

WHAT is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare?—
No time to stand beneath the boughs,
And stare as long as sheep and cows:

No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass:

No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night:

No time to turn at Beauty's glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance:

No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began?

A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.
W. H. Davies

mon@rch said...

I find myself staying home when the weather doesn't look good! I sometimes feel that the weather isn't worth doing damage to my vehicle.

albertapostcards said...

gosh, we're on similar wave lengths I see. My post today was about centering, looking to nature and the animals, ...
Not only was this another thoughtful post but so was that lovely poem one of your readers left here.

Diane
Alberta Postcards Now at WordPress! (same blog, different link)

nina said...

Bobbie--it does seem that not fighting the uphill battle would be easier all around, doesn't it?

Cestoady--It seems that when I'm the most frustrated it's because I've expected something unnatural.

Lisa--If had a stockpile of some other things, I'd be whippin' up a storm!

Mary--I feel I'm the least resilient by Feb/March--just have a harder time waiting it out!

Donna--my moon shots are my hubby's--mine are whirling and dancing, too! And the poetry--it's just how my mind explains it sometimes--not getting an entire thought, but more bits and pieces of imagery.

Sandpiper--it's prettiest when we view it from a seat other than a "driver."

Q--singing birds always seem so happy--

weeping sore--yes, easier than it is for many who cannot opt to stay in--maybe that's why I savor the days inside--my choice to do so.

Mojoman--I think we've become so used to being able to have anything we want when we want it, regardless of how appropriate it is--we've forgotten there are some things that are the way they are, or the timing they are--for a reason.

RuthieJ--I'm sure you see your fair share of spring storms in Minnesota!

Dorothy--I'm just happy to have you visit--take away whatever pleases you here.

Kate--that's fine for the award--make it what seems appropriate to your use--the squirrel--I spend more time than I should admit watching mine. Even chat with one each morning!

Mathman--Black walnuts are easily put aside--they're such a discouraging chore to tend to!

Jennifer--I started after the walnuts because you were cracking hickories--now we're all caught up in a circle!

Benjamin--thanks for the link--following nature--we're trying aren't we...

Cathy--I felt the warmth of the sun for the first time through my jacket last weekend--how I long for days of it against my face!

Wom--no, I haven't heard it, but like it very much--Thanks! It is exactly what we miss by forging onward at breakneck speed through it all!

Monarch--smart man! There are many who would force it and curse the trouble they bring on themselves.

Diane--we must be looking at nature to lead...:-)