The snow came down for hours yesterday – silent, soft flakes. I’m tired of the snow, but it still works it’s magic. You can’t help but feel the world is enchanted for those few, quiet hours when everything’s covered in a pillow of pristine powder.
This fall is the best fall. Today is the best day.
I went on a meandering walk through my neighborhood this afternoon and discovered the loveliest views. It’s 65 and sunny. Neighbors are raking leaves, listening to music, and taking walks. The roads are quiet and the squirrels are out in crowds stocking up for winter. I was under the impression that most of the houses in my branch of the neighborhood were built in the early ’60s, but a few steps off the main road I discovered a Free Will Baptist Church and houses that must have been built around the turn of the 20th century.
I spent Saturday in the mountains with my church’s college group. You may remember that I went on the same hike last year and really enjoyed it.
We read Psalms, closed our eyes and listened to the gentle shhh of wind through leaves, and had Eucharist on the mountaintop.
Focused breathing up steep paths is a special sort of meditation. It’s so very rare for me to be able to let go of daily stresses and live in the moment for hours at a time, but something about Shenandoah does it for me. I was distracted by panoramic views, new friends, and the marvelous way the body adapts to uneven terrain. It was a lovely and exhausting day.
Mary and I have been friends for nearly 10 years. We met our junior year of high school, attended college together, and were roommates for a year and a half. She came up to visit last month, so naturally we went to Skyline Drive. It’s one of the most impressive parts of this state and I’m lucky to live so close to it. I especially love the foggy haze and flash storms that visit the mountains in summertime. It’s like exploring a primordial rain forest.
Daniel had to stop by the library to pick up a few books for a research paper last weekend, so I parked nearby and took a self-guided tour around UVa. UVa’s campus is nearly always referred to as “The Grounds.” It’s a funny, sort of pretentious little quirk. I like to say it in my best high English accent: “Shall we take a stroll around The Grounds?”
They also have student/faculty housing located on the main lawn called the “Academical Village.” Sigh. What a bunch of weirdos.
This journal has turned into a place for photos and little else. I talk plenty in everyday life, but I haven’t felt the need to reiterate here. I’ve always journaled in some form or the other, but with access to various social media platforms, I have so many ways to have my voice heard or reflect on my day in small phrases and brief conversations. Maybe I need long form, but maybe the quiet is fine, too.
Charlottesville went from black and white to vibrant technicolor in the past few weeks. I’m enjoying the spring blooms as much as I can because I know they’ll give way to lizard green leaves in a few short weeks.
I think spring is really here this time around. The tree in the backyard is in bloom and the bees are happily feasting. I spent yesterday afternoon outside reading and dozing in the sun. I’m happy, energetic, hopeful. The Florida sun spoiled me and it’s hard to endure long, dark winters, but it looks like it’s over for now.
We went to one of our favorite local parks yesterday to enjoy the temperate weather. I’d really hoped to see a few things in bloom, some color reaching out and up from the brown landscape. But, since the spring blooms failed me, I decided to focus my lens on the muted tangles and vines in the fields and by the river. I like the subtle teals and reds present in almost all the images.