Tag Archives: Snow

Heavy Snowfall (day 2109)

White translucent fury
Softly laid
As a blanket

Snow Fell Calmly (day 2107)

From depths I could hold a rope
Cold from my very hard struggle
A frosted window reminds me
Of a sister I once shared
My latest secrets with every other day
A shadow that reaches for my hand
Can take me again, can take me again
Spring comes again
Where once snow fell calmly
And golden eyebrows caressed me
With arcs lacking recollection
In a pool of my own reflection,
Looking back, looking back today.

Snow in Darkness (day 2076)

As lights went out
We sat in darkness
Snow had left its mark
A dusting upon the heart
And what remained
Heartbeats ever darkness
Covered the world as mycelia does
Spinning moon shadows
Weaving and cutting
Familiar objects out of a new world
And our eyes focused lazily
On fire keeping the warmth.

Moon at Midnight – Part XXXXXXII (day 2036)

(part XXXXXXI)

As Spring melted the snow
I could hear the mountains calling my name
It was like the wind
It would just come into my ear
And I wouldn’t hear anything else
Except my name
And a direction it would come from
I asked Willow if she could hear it
But she said that she didn’t
She said that she had heard
A similar voice in her ear
At a different time calling her
Neither of us really knew what it was about
Never had anything like it before
But we did admit that it was intriguing
And she told me she had never
Felt so much like going for a walk about
As she did that Spring.

When nearly all the snow was gone
And the moon was new
Willow and I decided to head
Directly into the mountains
To see what we would find
Lily River stayed with Mercy
And she was old enough now to mind herself
No doubt she would sleep most nights
By herself in our own teepee.

We decided we would only take one horse
Pack what little things we needed on it
Particularly some warm blankets
As it was still cold at nights
Lots of dried foods
But Willow knew all the Spring food
We could get in the woods
And I had my bow and arrow with me.

We decided that we would stay well South
Warmer, and the direction the whispers came from
The valley we soon discovered
Was in full stinging nettle bloom
And we picked there for a day until
Our fingers were stinging and our spare sacks
Were full of the tea for us to drink.

part XXXXXXIII

Moon at Midnight – Part XXXXV (day 2019)

(part XXXXIV)

The Winter season is a time of slowing down
Snow comes and one can no longer roam freely
Through the forests
Paths are easily identified,
Packed down by the feet that use them
If you venture off the path
One can expect a mukluk full of snow
However, in thick forest
The trees can stop a lot of snow from coming down
Even in the middle of Winter
One can find fairly shallow snow.

Upon the snowscapes
It just takes a few days of no snow
For tracks to criss-cross the land
It’s a trackers dream to see
Little paw prints going from here to there
Rabbits are usually the first to show up
And deer are always there too
It goes a long way to track in the Winter
Even if just for fun
To learn the patterns of the animal you’re tracking.

By mid Winter we had found our routines once again
In the village footpaths would go
From teepee to teepee
Making an elaborate maze of singletracks
My structured mind actually enjoyed
Seeing the perfectly followed and stamped down footpaths
Destroyed by some shenanigans
Most likely two kids playing rough
One getting thrown into the snow
Or sidestepping and falling as they let
An elder pass along the trail.

On the warmer days
Willow and I would sit outside our teepee
Drinking tea we had collected
From the root of the burdock plant
And the nettle that stings,
Both plants abundant in forests here
We shared a lot of information
About our past, about our knowledge of the land
She learned a lot of English in these days
And I learned Pikanii
We would point to things
And then try to remember before the other would,
Sometimes Lily would sit with us
She knew it was important for her to know English
The more white man like myself settled into the territory
There was no use trying to fight that
Even Mountain Chief knew this
Moon Cow, being fairly fluent in English
Had already been teaching Lily
Before I had arrived.

part XXXXVI

Moon at Midnight – Part XXXXIV (day 2018)

(part XXXXIII)

I work up early and there was a sense of calm inside of me
As I stepped outside to relieve myself
I realized the calm may have been coming from
A fresh layer of snow
The first snowfall of the Winter
There’s a beautiful calm
That exists only when large snowflakes are falling in the air
And when everything around
Seems to be muted, simplified
Like it’s all water.

I had my moccasins on making light footsteps in the snow
And as I turned around to go back inside
I faced the village
And saw a lone fox trotting through
On its way somewhere important
Such a delicate creature
Always alarmingly small
Yet incredibly smart
Sneaky.. crafty little buggers.

I made a little movement
And it noticed me standing there and stopped
Cocked it’s head to the side
As if to say: “Hello, what are you looking for?”
I cocked my head to the side and replied:
“I have been looking for you.”
It stayed like this for at least three breaths
Each breath I watched the fox
Through the steam of my breath.

We stood about 50 meters apart
It started slowly walking towards me
I didn’t move, it came to me
I thought to myself,
‘Why don’t you always keep
Some morsels of food to share with animals
In your pocket?’
For now would have been a great time to share
But alas, I could not conjure up the food
Nor could I probably feed this fox
Solitary creatures they are.

It came a few steps closer to me
Listened more intently
Then suddenly turned it’s head to Moon Cow’s teepee
And I looked in that direction too
And there was Moon Cow
Standing outside of his teepee
Just as I was doing
Watching me, watching the fox
And the three of us stood here for a few more breaths
And then the fox trotted off
In the direction it had been going
Before we had said hello.

part XXXXV

Moon at Midnight – Part XXXIV (day 2008)

(part XXXIII)

In the morning Lily told us
She had dreamt of an owl
And had spoken to it
She said it was dad
His name had been Night Owl
Who gave her a message for Willow
And she told us
He had said that things ahead
Were going to get dangerous
And that sticking with Joe
Was very necessary.

Mountain Chief came to us that morning
Saying he had dreamt about Night Owl, too
He repeated what Lily had said
That the vision was a strong one
And Joe was to be trusted
And so I was to be trusted.

I didn’t really know what to do
I had always been a believer
That a family unit was one that shared decisions
So I kept silent
Could I really forecast, prophesize
To give any sort of resolution?
I did reinforce to Mountain Chief
And to Lily and Willow
That I could be trusted
And if I knew anything, I would speak.

When I stepped out of the teepee
Many of the people in our family
Were waiting, looking at me
Expecting some kind of miracle
But Mountain Chief settled them all down
Laughing at them and slapping me on the back
He was a good leader, a fierce warrior,
A strong man
One I had no desire in challenging
A man who was my friend
And his honesty and consideration for me
Only affirmed my affection for him
A man who had let me into his home
And into his heart like a brother.

Willow, Lily and I walked to our favourite lookout
Where we could see the entire valley
And the distant snow covered peaks
We wondered how long it would be now
Until the snow came to us
We had our furs and were gathering food
But winter is winter
No matter how many campfires you have
It’s still cold to the naked skin.

When we came down we paused near the place
I had found Lily the night before
And sat there for a while
Trying to understand the energy of the space
Suddenly out from the canopy
Came a beautiful owl
With a wing span that must have been 3 meters across
It came straight at us
Then turned sharply fanning us
For us to see it’s full and beautiful wing
It floated down the clearing
And in to the thick canopy.

part XXXV

Moon at Midnight – Part XXV (day 1999)

(part XXIV)

Winter was cold and long
But we had each other and lots of buffalo meat
So what else could a person ask for?
Moon Cow would very often come over
To our teepee and we would all talk,
Moon Cow being the interpreter most of the time
We would go walking when we could
Through the snow following tracks here and there
It became a game on the nice days
On the cold days it was a chore
But there is no other way
When you live off the land.

I spent a lot of time learning Pikanii that winter
A lot of my white man words
Neither Willow nor Moon Cow could comprehend
Things they just had never seen
They had a beautiful language
That spoke mostly of what was important
They were all eager to learn my language too
So they could prosper with the traders
That would return in the spring.

The family grew accustomed to me
Seeing my familiar face around
And as I learned new words
I would usually surprise them when I would comment
On something they were doing,
Or just friendly greetings, smiling as we passed each other.

Willow didn’t cook as good as Moon Cow did
But Willow had a wider vocabulary of herbs and spices
That I greatly appreciated
Especially when it came to fighting off colds
For Willow also knew medicines well
She taught me how to identify many
By sight and by smell
And I would accompany her when we would wander about
Looking for roots and bulbs through the winter
As treats for our palette.

day XXVI

Moon at Midnight – Part XXIV (day 1998)

(part XXIII)

Winter was cold living on the land
But the teepee that Willow kept
Was as warm as anybody could ask for
Because Moon Cow was such a crafter
Willow naturally had the skill too
And we had luxuries like fur and hides
And a makeshift bed frame to keep us off the ground
Yet no amount of furs or soup
Could make each cold frozen step
Through the snow, warm.

I awoke one night to coyotes howling
They were real close
I could practically feel them standing on my bed
I could hear a baby crying
So I knew I wasn’t the only one to have woken
Willow stirred and I looked at Lily
And she had her eyes wide open
Looking a little bit scared
I threw on my jacket and grabbed a torch
And stepped outside the teepee to see what was happening
It was a clear night and I could see my breath
As the beautiful waxing gibbous lit the earth, unobstructed.

There were five of them
Pacing back and forth
Just on the edge of our encampment
They jumped at the firelight
But stayed hovering around
I picked up a snowball and threw it
Which landed close to two of them
They looked at me for a moment
And I threw another one which hit one in the back
It was stunned for a second
Letting out a little bit of a yelp
But then got back up and it seemed to me
The other coyotes were laughing at it,
I threw another and made a howling noise at it
Trying to scare it off
They withdrew further into the brush
At the other side of the opening
By this time one of the other men
Were outside with me
He had brought out his bow and arrow
And started shooting at them
Yelling some words that I couldn’t understand
The coyotes obviously did
And before long they were trotting away.

part XXV

Ode to a Lonely Pine (day 1769)

Like my grandfather that came to rest
Rocking slowly in his old pine chair,
You watch the vista with an open air
Shaking loose your frazzled hair.

For in the cold months
You stand tall and proud,
And in the dark days
Your silhouette is my lighthouse home,
And in crisp mornings
Your tips refresh me
Like my eyelids breaking free.

But before I walk up to shake your hand
I wait for you to permit me through,
For your roots stretch long beneath the floor
And touch my home, forever more.

a lonely pine covered in snow

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