Images of Thankfulness

We hosted my parents and grandma and Rosie’s parents at our house for Thanksgiving. It was a wonderful day. Enough sentiment to make it memorable, enough relaxation to make it enjoyable.

Perhaps the best thing about Thanksgiving weekend is that you get the holiday out of the way right off. Once all the dishes were done, we had a long weekend of well-deserved rest and play.

On Friday, I had a couple free hours in the afternoon so I drove over to our nearest park and took Lola for a wander in the woods.

On Saturday, we went a-Christmas tree cutting with Rosie’s clan. The three families met in Stillwater and then headed across the St. Croix to find a tree.

Rosie and I got our tree tied on first and hit the road back to her parents’ for dinner. En route, we decided to swing by the Arcola High Bridge to see the sun set over the valley.

As we were driving away, the moon was suddenly hanging over the tree tops, as big as I’ve ever seen it.

I was out catching up to tomorrow, or was I caught up in the past?
These days it’s hard to tell what’s out in front from what’s behind.
But, oh God, it’s unforgettable and unpredictable the way our chemicals collide.

- Cloud Cult

Finally, on Sunday, we went for a hike with Rainier and B (and Lola and their dog Quercus). They were leading us to new parks and it was a good wander around the northwest part of the metro area. Our primary destination was closed for a special deer hunt that day and that day only, so we improvised and found a state forest where we could walk some fire roads and trails through the pines.

Perhaps my favorite part of the walk was through a stand of red pines planted 50 years ago. The thick carpet of red needles on the path and the wind in the high canopy created a strange peaceful effect. A crow’s caw some distance away echoed carried through the woods.

I got myself a new look,
(Something gave me another chance to see).
Each time, each time I will try to do better.
Right now, right now is where I guess I belong.

Pulled my fist from my mouth.
I beat myself for a quarter century.
Remind, remind that it’s bigger than me.
Dissolve, dissolve into evergreens.

- ibid.

The cold started to set in over the course of the weekend. Winter is looming awfully long right now, and November has been dim and darkening, the skies have been gray, the wind raw, the land impartial and unmoving.

But there are lessons in all of it, and I’ve survived every other winter I’ve attempted, and already the cold is feeling more comfortable.

8 thoughts on “Images of Thankfulness

  1. samh

    The photo of the moon does it justice. The lady and I were driving just as it came up and I was having trouble keeping my eyes on the road and not on that heavy yellow globe.

    - Sam

  2. TMF

    “already the cold is feeling more comfortable.”
    That’s exactly what I was thinking.

    Anywhere between the ages of 15 and 24 I would have had to walk that bridge.

  3. dharma bum Post author

    Sam – I like the shot and it’s probably the best I’ve ever captured of the moon, but also I think it’s generous to say it does that wonderful orb justice. :)

    TMF – Good to “see” you again. Your new baby is beautiful and I’m glad you had a successful hunt. Yes, I’m getting my thicker winter blood I think, but now the wind has whipped up. I’m still waiting for that to be more comfortable.

    Many times between the age of 15 and 24 I walked that bridge. And spent mid-night hours sitting on it, talking with friends, indulging teenage appetites, and being quietly stricken by the broad valley bathed in moonlight.

    Come visit Minnesota sometime. We’ll walk across it.

    Not sure if you would have seen this post from July with another photo of the bridge and some additional info. And here is the best photo I’ve ever seen of it.

  4. dharma bum Post author

    hey cK – thanks for the note. glad you liked the photos and all that and thanks for the compliment on the layout. been wanting to clean things up a bit. still have some work to do, but i like it better already.


  5. Night Editor

    Your post reminds me to get out to our urban parks. The dog shots are terrific but the reds and greens of the state forest road is mesmerizing–reminds me of some Ernst Haas shots. ( I love walking on a path of pine needles.)

    Night Editor’s last blog post..Shining moments

  6. rosie

    you did a wonderful job capturing the beauty and relaxation we experienced that long holiday weekend. i like the cloud cult lyrics interspersed, though being as familiar with the melodies as my own breath, it’s hard to just read and not sing the lines.

    are you still getting comfortable with winter’s chill?

  7. dharma bum Post author

    Night Editor – You always manage to subtly clue me into people that I check out and say “why haven’t I ever heard of this person before?” Once it was Paul Gruchow, now it’s Ernst Haas. A true compliment to say that my photos even reminds you of his stuff. Thanks!

    rosie – It’s funny, I guess I’m fairly comfortable with it now. Resigned to it, at least. The 0 – 10 degree highs lately haven’t really felt that bad, while a few weeks ago, 20 felt like the end of the world. Glad you liked the post.

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