Thursday, January 20, 2005

Fresh Canvas

Up at 8:30 this morning, and was greeted by sunshine and blue skies when I did my rounds to the windows. Jack Frost had been busy again and the bright sunshine added diamonds to his paintings. Quite the spectacular show.

When I looked out the front window I could see lots of fresh snow on the ground and a huge mountain of it looming in the entrance to the driveway. Oh dear. The snowploughs do a great job of clearing the roads but they leave a ton of the stuff in each drive entrance. Hmmm? Would we be able to get out and do our shopping today? I wonder.

I continued on to the other windows and by the time I had finished my “rounds” I heard the sound of a truck and was pleased to see that the neighbour had arrived to plough our drive. Oh the joys of living in the country. We never have to shovel a speck of snow up here. Yahoo!

I am not sure how much snow we got yesterday, but I think they were calling for 10-12cm in this area. It snowed all day and was still coming down when we went to bed last night. We got enough to gussy up the trees and change the landscape around the farm into a fresh white canvas, all stretched and ready to be adorned with our footprint art.

Snowshoes make delightful patterns in the snow and I like to try to paint with my feet. You have heard of finger painting haven’t you? Well, just take that idea a step further and picture snowshoe paintbrushes.

When I am walking in the snow I like to turn around and see where I have been and what my tracks look like. If I can talk my walking partner into it we will make hearts and circles and other shapes with our tracks. Lots of fun, really!!

Yesterday morning we walked along the Logging Road and Riverside Ramble Trail and then came in for lunch. I spent the afternoon curled up in the cozy farmhouse reading, writing and gazing out the window. It snowed all afternoon and around 4pm we got ready to go out for another walk. The flakes were huge and fluffy and thick. By the time we got our gear on though, the snow had stopped and the sun tried to break through the clouds. I was disappointed that it stopped snowing, but the lemon drop sun in the grey sky was so nice to see, I didn’t stay disappointed for long. This was a red-letter day for us and nothing could cloud my excitement –not even clouds.

In the weak sunshine we happily trekked across the open fields down to Poison Fen. The Fen is about an acre of land running along the riverbank, which is flooded during the spring, and full of poison ivy in the summer. Needless to say we don’t walk there in any season but this one but it is the perfect spot to access the river right now, because the bank is low and easy to navigate in snowshoes. Yes, today was the day we would venture out onto the river for the first time. Oh joy.

We have had over a week of extremely cold temperatures, since all the rain and mild weather, so we thought it was finally safe to take the plunge – hopefully not literally, and walk on the river. The fresh snow had prepared a brilliant white canvas for our foot art, and we set to painting with glee. Well, I was gleeful, Anvilcloud was more subdued and just enjoyed the walk. We balance each other perfectly.

The river winds down the east boundary line of the property, and you can walk on it for miles. It runs mainly north to south along the property line, but there are so many twists and turns along the way that we keep switching back and forth to each point of the compass. No matter how many times we have done this, it always amazes us how different everything looks from the middle of the river. We think we are miles away from the farm but walk around a bend in the river and see one of the barns quite clearly through the trees and wonder how it got there or how we got so close to it after walking so far.

The first few steps out onto the frozen water are always a bit nerve wracking for me, but after those first tentative steps I relax and realize that the surface is frozen solid and will hold us up just fine. There are usually a few patches close to the shore that stay mushy but they are easy to spot and avoid.

We enjoyed a delightful walk on the water yesterday and I had fun making circles and loops with my tracks as we walked along.

To affect the quality of the day; that is the art of life.
Henry David Thoreau

Each day, all of us are presented with a fresh white canvas with no mistakes on it yet, and we can paint on it what we will with our lives. What artwork will you create on this page of your life today? Go on, don’t be tentative, have some fun. Create something new and wonderful with each step you take.

Make visible what, without you, might perhaps never have been seen.
Robert Bresson


Iona said...

I enjoy your writing style. It's very pleasnat to read and stimulates your imagination instantly. Like a fictional book.
And those quotes really add to the value. It's almost philosophical. They get me thinking and reflecting about my day.. which was kinda boring. I did 'affect the quality' a bit, but I didn't really 'make anything visible that without my presence wouldn't have been seen.' But thanks for sharing your snow adventures!

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Lynn said...

Thanks for posting a picture of the farm. It really is beautiful.