Friday, 9 December 2011

A Walk in the Snow

This morning the weather decided to make another attempt to cover eastern Ontario with snow. It has been a very mild fall and the snow that has fallen so far hasn't stayed. It's mild again today, hovering close to the freezing mark, but the landscape when I got up this morning was white, rather than dull green and brown, and perhaps this time it will stay.

This afternoon, after my errands in town were all done, I took my border collie out with me for a walk to the back of our property. We own a seven-acre strip in the Limerick Forest, and I thought I'd bring the camera with me to share some of the sights with you.

As I followed my path back into the forest my border collie ran on ahead, as he always does. When we go on these walks he runs like a fool the entire time and is usually out of sight. I don't worry because when I call he comes running along the path, buzzing me like a jet on a fly-over, and disappears again up ahead. It's in his nature as a border collie to love to run.

As I walked I thought about my work and what I might be able to accomplish this afternoon. I'm outlining the third novel in the Donaghue and Stainer crime novel series, and I mulled over a few decisions I need to make. By the time I took this picture on the right, however, I was thinking mostly about how quiet it was around me and how free of stress I suddenly felt. Although the snow was starting to melt in the branches above me and drip down onto my head, I decided to keep the camera out, rather than put it back into my jacket pocket as I had been doing. I was becoming completely involved in my surroundings. My brain was becoming very quiet, as quiet as the forest around me.

Once I reached the rear of my property the cigar I was smoking was half-finished. I try to time my walks accordingly, lighting the cigar in the yard when I begin a walk and putting it out when I return, so I felt I was in a good rhythm. The property behind mine consists of several hundred acres of pasture in gently rolling hills. My border collie loves this part, running in wide figure eights as though herding invisible sheep. He was out of the frame when I took this final picture, though. I was fascinated by the dusting of white snow against the dark mid-afternoon sky.

It was silent back there. I felt very much at peace. Very happy to be a participant in this remarkable world.


  1. Michael, you live in my dream home! This post is so poignant. It really makes me stop and think for a second about how amazing the world can be when we stop to appreciate it.

  2. Thank you, Lan. You know, I was thinking about you when I wrote this post. It will soon be summer in Australia, won't it? I thought you and my other followers in Australia and New Zealand might enjoy seeing what it's like up here right now. And you know what, it's true. Being back there this afternoon was like a dose of really good medicine. I still feel good from it! m

  3. Michael...I like your blog and I love the walks with my 'boys' and your woods look very much like's a peaceful time of day when we get out into the fresh air isn't it? Jane

  4. Jane, thanks very much for joining me in this adventure. Yes, the fresh air is wonderful. Irreplaceable. Thanks for stopping by! m