It was an Ansel Adams kind of morning, the kind with soft snow resting on the branches of every tree and a stillness settling on everything. The only thing moving besides myself was the small rabbit I accidentally scared out of the lilac bushes that form a hedge in the back yard. I saw several sets of animal prints, some of which had wandered onto my back patio in the early hours of the morning, then through the snow to the apple orchard, stopping next to the barn.
I started with the notion of writing about Ansel Adams, but then I got this strong nudge to go out with my camera and see what I could see, noting those moments of grace that come when you take the time to look. I've always loved the details of any scene. Yes, the grandeur of the snow-capped mountains and the vista of a river valley with a ribbon of water winding through offer their own beauty, but give me the details, the close-ups of nature or of a ramshackle building, and that's when my eyes really start to see.
I walked around my yard, drawn by the prints that were leading me to the shed back by the barn. Unlatching the garden gate, it was fun to see my little patch of garden in quiet repose, all bedded down, "for a long winter's nap." Even in the silence of the oncoming winter something was happening in the non-happening. Maybe that's where everything that matters truly takes place.
In attempting to describe the feeling I had while walking around, I recalled something I had written down a few days earlier.The Greek philosopher, Plotinus, said, "Everything in the world is full of signs. All events are coordinated. All things depend on each other. Everything breathes together." That's sort of how it felt, like I was a part, just a part, of something larger, something of a deeply quiet significance. Breathing in harmony with the earth, I felt what was happening in the non-happening, and I realized this is what peace feels like.