This upcoming weekend–would you like to Move with Mindfulness and Write with Ease?

Overlooking the snowy creek in Finger Lakes National Forest, NY.

Overlooking the snowy creek in Finger Lakes National Forest, NY.

It had been a snowy snowy week, so the hike and nature writing workshop was cancelled at Dyken Pond last Sunday. (One more is scheduled, for March 16.)  There was a mix of disappointment—the snow and trees will be gorgeous!—and relief—I’m so tired of driving in snow and sliding—and questioning Am I a Weather Wimp?

But the wind chills were forecasted to be at about five degrees, an additional few inches (on top of the 12-24 the area received in the previous 24 hours) were on their way the night before, and many local roads were still unplowed.

So really, it’s just winter in upstate New York.

I continue to learn to react to the situation at hand, practicing the spectacularly simple and difficult

Be In the Moment

—as I did near Seneca Lake the other week, when Finger Lakes National Forest beckoned and the roads there were passable.

With snowshoes, I ventured onto an unbroken trail. The path climbed up and up, skirted by the golden cornstalks of a farmer’s field, and beyond that the blue mountain bowl that is filled by Seneca Lake. Leaving behind layers of thoughts and worries, I breathed in the sight of crystal covered branches, the creek that gurgled next to me, invisible under the ice–and the sunlight that broke through.

This upcoming weekend (Saturday February 22) marks a return to Still Point Retreat Center and my Move with Mindfulness, Write with Ease workshop. There are still spots available.  I invite you to come and walk your own trail, physically and in your writing life. Use the Contact Us tab above to reserve a space.

Here's a potential path. Step on in, the snow's delightful!

Here’s a potential path. Step on in, the snow’s delightful!

Advertisements

Paying Attention Among the Trees

The snow fell onto tree limbs and sparkled in the cold sunlight on January 19th at Dyken Pond.

The snow fell onto tree limbs and sparkled in the cold sunlight on January 19th at Dyken Pond.

We stopped at the beginning of the Cherry Trace trail, to feel the quality of our breath, and slow down in order to take in the rich sensory experiences to come. Then we hiked up into the hemlocks, many of which were torn off at the same height by a freak wind storm a few months back.

Into the fairy tale dark woods we crunched, listening and looking and tasting and smelling. Part-way, we broke out into a clearing full of sunlight, with sugar crystal snow dancing and sparkling in swirls of wind; we reacted with laughter and gulps of oxygen-rich air.

Magic in the woods on the Cherry Trace trail.

Magic in the woods on the Cherry Trace trail.

Afterwards we sat by the wood burning stove and warmed with tea and possible ways to write about nature. That led to discussion of how to be present in our lives, how to pay attention to the details. With pen and keyboard, we wrote and wrote about the day spent with beech trees and princess pines, what we each experienced and what it might mean.

So that’s one day, “Paying Attention Among the Trees.” Would you like to join me for the next one?

Spots are still available February 16 and March 16; see the Winter Walks with Nature Writing tab above for registration information. If you desire a whole day experience, look at the Move With Mindfulness, Write with Ease workshop option for Saturday, February 22.

Possible descriptions: like a dead bug, legs to the sky; wild hair-day; resting and snow-covered.

Possible description: dead bug, legs to the sky. Or a wild hair day. What would you jot down in your notebook?