Yesterday morning, arriving at the cabin, the temperature outside was 15 below and inside it was 10. But as soon as the sun came over the top of the hills, flooding the valley with light, the outside temperature soared to 0. As I was meditating, I saw what looked like glistening drops floating in the air, appearing and disappearing so quickly I almost thought I was hallucinating. But more appeared, blowing down seemingly from the trees. Were they frozen bits of ice that had been lodged in the ponderosas, or had the air been so cold that, as the sun warmed it, the air itself was thawing, winking briefly in the sun before melting and dropping to the earth?
When I went for a walk, the earth creaked in the cold beneath my feet, and the creek was smothered in snow, completely frozen over. Yet I could hear the water underneath, still alive, full of energy and intent on its journey.
On this beginning of a new year, I think of all the fear, suspicion and even hatred in the world. I think of friends who are going through difficult times. All I can do is wish for the peace and tranquility of this place to descend like warmth from the sun, melting the most troubled of hearts, knowing that the life force somehow continues, still surges, underneath it all.