Montana Wolf

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Be Here, Shovel Now

Silent woods cloaked in a foot of new powder. It is twelve degrees. The inside is warmed with a wood fire; the spirit with candlelight, fed with hot coffee. When darkness lifts I will step outside into crystalline clearness; earth dons a sheath of quartz points upon her brow.  My urge to pack and move south to warmth and ease is strong. The necessity to stay in this world of white looms larger. Be here, shovel now. The grip of physical exertion; the disappearance of  blockage, row by row. Palpable progress. Like watching the beaver, checking his work every day as he downs willow and lodgepole pines. His slides, first through long grass and mud, are now deep troughs through snow. Progress deeply apt on the cusp of 2012 and its unprecedented evolutionary push. Stay with instinct. Stop rolling tires down the road. At least until Candlemas, when light is palpable and the spirit might see her way clear.

Yesterday I made a pot of venison chile. Ground meat from the doe that Wood Tick shot with his bow several weeks ago. Red and green chile, oregano, some bacon grease, a few beans, tomatoes in various forms, jalapeno, onion, lots of garlic. It is the most delicious I have ever made, and my first venture into cooking the wild. I was surprised how mild the deer tasted. I'd always heard how venison was gamey. I now know that's the price you pay if you're looking for horns to mount (larger, older deer) as opposed to animal sustenance. And spirit. I taste her and these forests she grazed.

 I receive emails from friends who think I have lost my mind. It's been a decade since I've chosen winter in northern climes. One friend emails with the idea to spend Thanksgiving in Death Valley and a piece of my spirit leaps. How I'd love to return to that magical land.

But it feels that this winter is not about ease or new adventure of the physical travel kind. It is about organizing photos; writing; new book preparations and the next realm of work to come down the pike. Tracking down a thrift store to find some winter boots, buying a new battery for my truck, dragging deer blocks across the little river to watch the beauties feed. I will mine dreams that come from deep dark forests and skies alight with the Milky Way.  Step outside with Wood Tick into drifts of white.

I see snow angels in my near future.


  1. Four people have tried to post this morning with no luck. It's exasperating. If you chose the drop down option of name/URL and then type your name it usually works. Sorry for the inconvenience. Here are some comments:

    Beautiful ... THanks for sharing.

    Thank you for sharing this. I really enjoyed it especially because this past September I took a 2800 mile bus trip through the national parks of 7 states. What an amazing country we live in.

    WOW ... What gorgeous writing and photographs.

  2. How gorgeous a post. I am right there with your winter entrancement.
    Cindy Morris
    Priestess Astrologer

  3. Thank you, Cindy.

    It looks like posts are happening now. Here's another that was blocked earlier:

    "What a stunning beautiful.
    Thanks for always sharing so much beauty with us all."

    Perhaps Merc in Retro is happening a few days early! Thanks for persevering, Everyone.

  4. I love your blogs and the feelings they evoke. I love the way you listen to your soul, then share it with us. And I love you.