I Gazed and Gazed and Long Admired

“I Gazed and Gazed and Long Admired….. For the colors and lines and expression of this divine landscape – countenance are so burned into my mind and heart they surley can never grow dim.”  ~John Muir

Our first snow arrived on Christmas day, and then temperatures dropped until the first week of January. -15 to -19 C, with wind chills reaching -36C.

How cold is that? Face mask cold. Exposed skin would freeze in a matter of ten minutes.

You would think the cold would bother a recuperating humanitarian who is accustomed to Mali, Africa this time of year, where temperatures would reach 43 degrees.

Having been gone so many winters for a few years shy of a decade, my winter clothing situation was dismal. I did not even own a pair of gloves. I had to borrow my sons gloves to shovel snow on Christmas day. I had to reinvest or I would never get outside.  I ordered a new jacket, hat, gloves, and snow pants.  I snowshoed in my woods, or out in the back woods, putting down anywhere from three to eight kilometers of new snowshoe trail each time I escaped the Fisherman’s workshop.

Oh it was cold, but with some proper gear I realized that you can actually enjoy winter in frigid temperatures too.

This is the Key to enjoying winter. Invest in it! Buy proper clothing,  excellent quality winter boots, skis or snowshoes and get out there.

I kept taking little trips as often as I could. And soon I enjoyed being out there, and was not suffering the cold anymore. The first day it finally warmed up to -10 C, it was like, “Oh, man what a nice warm day!” But getting me out there exposed me to beauty like this. Yes, this is my photo in the background.

The first snow was beautiful. I took pictures of wood piles, lichens and fungi, the likes if which I had not seen in many years.

I threw on a backpack with my bush supplies and just hung out in the forest, drinking some hot chocolate. I stop more often than ever, to simply look and listen.

I think so many folks charge through the wilderness on a speedy bike, or with hiking, running or walking distance goals in mind that they fail to take in the beauty flying past them at such a fast a pace. I have to take time to listen, turn my head to see long enough to absorb the sounds of wind, animals, leaves and creaky trees. I assure you that the sound of the wind through spruce trees, or a hardwood thicket is very unique. It is not replicated in the Sahel of Mali in Africa. Each place possesses its unique sights, sounds and fragrances. I stop to take them in much more often now. Its like breathing in life.

I took out my smartphone macro lens and saw the world up-close like this.  Sorry my fungus picture is a little grainy. I deleted the stunningly clear original off my smartphone it seems. So had to take a screen shot of it from my Instagram feed.

Anyway, it has been a wonderfully soul enriching experience to have this opportunity to be in Canada this winter.

Come snowshoe with me some day. We can chat and walk, and recharge our souls together if you like.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. crystal McDormand says:

    Happy that you are enjoying winter . It was beautiful just after Christmas day. We had a lady visiting Westport from Brazil. She had never seen snow before. She absolutely loved it. She got seven days of light, feathery, beautiful snow.


    1. I am happy your Brazilian friend had the experience. Thanks for the note, as always.


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