Wet slushy snow all over the roads as I bicycled home tonight. In January, memories of summer vistas seem all the more precious and I look back through my journal until I find the sketch done while Maggie and I were camping with friends. Calm mornings that Maggie and I spent reading and drawing up on the bluff. Empty cheerio bowls forgotten under our camp chairs while hot tea and chocolate kept the brisk morning air at bay. In the midst of January, when the light is only beginning to return from the full dark of the solstice, the sketch is a missive from warmer times.
It takes me two weeks of ski lessons to capture this view at Stake Lake. While Maggie is engaged in kicking and gliding, I ski “like stink” to get to the same vantage point each week. The first Saturday I manage only the ink outline and the second Saturday gives me the luxury to fill in some of the colours, before hurrying off to find Maggie at the end of the lesson.
The business of the new semester catches me by surprise and I am grateful for those moments that cast me out of academia and back into the land of the breathing, pulsing natural world. A day is book ended by moments I am grateful for–the startling flash of waxwings lifting off the rowan tree outside my building and flying directly over my nose as I straddle my bike and then the luminescent globe of the full moon rising up over the darkened flank of Mt Paul.