Sunday walks midday…what a change from the days that had galloped by earlier in the week!
The silence of the morning had stretched into the early afternoon, and puppy and I had the park to ourselves. No construction noise, no garbage trucks slamming back the lids of the dumpsters, the roads were quiet, and the school playground was blissfully empty.
The wind was streaked with snow that whipped my pale face until it reddened from the cold.
The willow trees, their location our quest for this outing, waited for us solemnly towards the end of the path, their regal reach sadly bowed by our not too distant ice storm. Thick branches ripped and ragged, strips of bark, and tendrils, that in the summer would have feathered into drifting leaves, encircled the base of each of the six.
The damage was immense, and I was unable to sidle over to rest my back against the aged trunk of the largest willow which was my regular practice. But the willows are stoic characters, and the six before me appeared to be already pushing past the damage. Older than me, they know well the amazing power of moving forward towards healing.
Never back, always forward.
I caught a movement above, and lifted my eyes skyward to watch a hawk wind surfing amongst the currents. He moved gracefully, holding his form still, dropping down, holding still again, his wings dipping easily to the rhythm of an ancient dance. Pulling away from the updraft, he disappeared under the roof overhang of the apartment building across the creek.
The snow continued to fall, and the wind picked up.
There was a stillness offered up on this winter day that allowed me to feel alone, but not lonely.
I watched for the hawk a moment longer, before, like him, heading home.