March 7, 2019
Have you ever taken a hike in the midst of a hoarfrost shower? Today I did just that! To experience this phenomenon, you must get up after the sun has risen and venture out into the woods in early-to-mid-morning. I started out about 9 am. The temperature also needs to be in the single digits. It was 2 degrees when I began.
Frost was covering each maple, beech, and oak branch along the North Country Trail (NCT) near my home. The sky was wonderment blue and the sun was bright yet somehow appeared frozen. The few drifting clouds mimicked the snowdrifts surrounding me on the glacier-created hills.
Speaking of snowdrifts, to enter the NCT today I had to scale a six-foot pile crafted by our hardworking snowplow drivers here in Northern Michigan. As I put my snowshoes on, the driver came around the bend and waited for me to scale his mountain. It wasn’t easy! I had to use my metal clamps on the bottom of my “shoes” to dig out a foothold, then hopped up with the help of my trusty ski pole. As soon as I stood at the top of the summit, the plow driver proceeded to head on down the road, piling up more snow and we waved hello as he passed. Here’s a photo showing how deep the snow is now. The NCT sign is 5 foot tall, normally.
Back to the hoarfrost shower . . . As I shoed along the first mile of the trail, the sun had risen enough and the slight breeze kicked up enough to loosen the frost from the branches overhead sending showers my way! It was refreshing. It was otherworldly. It was a blessing!
It reminded me of an old Christian hymn I learned as a child called There Shall be Showers of Blessings. The words came flooding back:
There shall be showers of blessings
This is the promise of love
There shall be seasons refreshing
Sent from the Savior above
Showers of blessings
Showers of blessings we need
Mercy-drops round us are falling
But for the showers we plead . . .Daniel Whittle, 1883 — For the full lyrics go to: https://library.timelesstruths.org/music/There_Shall_Be_Showers_of_Blessing/
I am now a Buddhist/Christian/Pantheist/Nature Worshiper. Like the changing seasons, my spiritual journey has evolved to find beauty in all these four increments of faith. Like a quartered pie, the whole of my spiritual nature is God Within Me. Click on the link below for a visual of my spiritual nature:https://1drv.ms/w/s!As0-XnBwzc9zl2GQygISfYVE2Eyo
Today I chose to rest after hiking one mile at a spot on the trail I hold dearly. At the top of a small hill I set up my resting spot to journal and read. I can still his spirit here. About five years ago, my chocolate lab Dank (God rest his soul) ran from the top of this hill down to where I was waiting him. It was also winter and as I snowshoed he had gotten too far ahead of me. I called him back. When he got to this spot he came flying down, ears flying like a soaring bird, tail straight out like a rudder, and all four legs curled beneath him in the air as if he conquered gravity. I often cry when I come to this spot. Today was no exception. They say dogs have no spirit. Hogwash! My guy loved me unconditionally and had soulful eyes. We will be reunited one day. Here is a photo I took that day, though he had already come down for a landing:
For my read today, I returned to Writing as a Path to Awakening by DeSilver. In the month of March chapter he talks about “Practice and Process.” He suggest free writing, which is the purpose of these Walk & Write blogs. He suggests to “stay awake to your environment” and to be an “emotionally moved and engaged viewer” of life. Finally, DeSilver suggest to “have fun and don’t over think.” Amen to that!
And so I hiked back out and into the world again.