shadow of the bear, october 2012; this shadow occurs twice a year, in october and november, for a short two week stretch. the shadow grows and grows within a twenty minute frame, then disappears as the sun sets behind the western mountains. this is a magical thing, and i happened to be passing through on the road between highlands and cashiers, nc, in time to see this unfold. hello, bear. hello, autumn. hello, you.
i had a little thought this morning as i rose well before dawn to prepare for departure on my trip to maryland, to the red thread retreat (lucky me!): i feel like this blog - Ornamental - has been many, many things for me in the nearly seven years (or is it eight? i've lost count). i began it primarily as a sort of visual, non-tactile journal, an account of the musings i ponder as i walk this journey of mine. i love taking photographs, love writing memories of the natural world that surrounds me - and it became clear to me from the onset that the time i invest in the blog is deeply appreciated by those who happen to pass through. there have been the rare, random ugly comments farther back in the past, some unpleasant remarks as i have bared my soul, but 99.999% of the time, my readers have been some of the most generous and compassionate people i've encountered in these 56+ years of life. you, readers, are just as much a part of this blog as i am. your comments are sound and kind and supportive and compassionate, and i know it helps so many, many people to read through those comments and glean the wisdom that is universally shared. it helps me more than i can say. so, i walked in here this morning as the sky turned from darkest dark to a pale opalescent pink and blue, i turned on this laptop all over again after shutting it down last night, and sat down to simply say thank you for being here, for being in this world. i don't see you on the other side of this screen, i don't always know who is out there reading these words; but i know that you are there, i read every single comment even when i can't write each of you individually to let you know how deeply grateful i continue to be. ever always, and forever.