Sunflower seeds beneath the spruce tree

Sunflower seeds beneath the spruce tree

Today I sat beneath the spruce tree.

That’s all. 

I bundled up warmly in snow pants, coat, boots, hat and mittens, then wrapped a colorful aqua scarf around the neck.  Stood on tiptoes to reach up into the front closet to find the square purple cushion we bought at a football fundraiser several years ago.  Scooped out some sunflower seeds to lure the chickadees and nuthatches into closer range, then walked across the garden snow to the giant spruce tree.

Arranged the cushion against the base of the tree, spread a pile of the black seeds, then settled down against the trunk.  To watch.  To think.  To simply be, to see what chose to reveal itself.

It was 30 degrees.  It felt so comfy and peaceful and beautiful I decided to spend the remainder of the year sitting underneath the spruce tree and blogging one sentence a day.  (Yeah, right, do you believe that?)

Quiet everywhere, at first.  Then the sounds began to fill consciousness.  Fluttering of juncos overhead chirping and calling.  None landed.  The distant whine of chainsaws from a logging operation about two miles away.  Tinkling and breaking off of icicles from the garage.  I will show you a photo of the strange angles the icicles have formed on the garage eave recently:

Icicles growing backwards and up under garage eave

Icicles growing backwards and up under garage eave

See how they’ve grown backwards towards the garage?  Usually icicles simply grow down….these have opted for a different direction.  This afternoon, while I sat under the spruce tree, some of them broke off and crashed to the ground with a tinkling musical sound.

Not a single bird landed to munch the sunflower seeds and pose for a photo shoot.  A mole or shrew or mouse surfaced several feet away and dove up and down through tunnels for about two minutes before disappearing entirely. 

Tiny dried spruce needles sprinkled down all around as the wind moved through the upper branches.  Hundreds of bird-claw prints littered the snow nearby between the spruce cones and dried needles and branches and dried plants.

I felt so peaceful and connected to the earth.  No need to do anything.  Just look around until my own roots began to grow into the earth….or my husband came home from work to say, “What are you doing sitting under that tree?”

It’s funny.  Since starting this outdoor commitment, everything has shifted.  Before, I wanted to write entertaining blogs and gain readers.  Lately all that has ceased to be as important.  I’d rather find out what the Outdoors wants to say.  What the Outdoors wants to show.  If the Outdoors has nothing to say through me, that’s fine.  If the Outdoors wants to tell about ice fishing, that’s fine too.  If anyone wants to read, I’m delighted; if very few stop by this blog….that’s perfectly fine.  What a relief to have reached this realization!

I want to feel the way Gerry of  Torch Lake Views described in a recent comment beneath February 14th’s Valentine Day blog:  Here’s the thing . . . I simply feel a part of it. The earth. The universe. The whole ball of wax. The lovely blue marble? As much a part of me as my arm. Me as much a part of it as I am of this seat at my desk. We’re not separate. We’re one fabric. One creation, that continues to spin out its glistening fibers of life. It’s us – and altogether we’re it. That’s what I think.

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