“Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village, though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.
He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.
The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.”
~ Robert Frost, “Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening”
We headed up to the mountains last Friday. There was so much snow, and more came swirling down later that day, obscuring the ski runs and hiding the peaks. The pine tree branches could barely hold the white weight of it all, frosted and spiced with mountain air.
Going to the mountains is going home. John Muir had it right. He knew the fresh air rich with pine that blew at the peaks of the mountain and down into the corridors of sparkling packed snow, lined on either side with dark green spruce trees. He knew the vastness of the wide bright blue sky, of feeling so close as to touch the very clouds that blanketed the tallest of the heights. The gold and yellow streaks of light that stained the snow-capped bowls and painted the valley in brilliant pink and purple hues as the sun set between two sharp peaks. The never-ending azure-green-white watercolor of the mountains in the distance, summit upon summit as far as the eye can see. He knew the sunsets smeared with too much colour, the nearly neon rosy orange light that streaked across the darkening sky, that settled unhurriedly above the indigo outline of the mountains in the distance.
This week, as the holidays approach, I hope you have a little bit of time to be in a place that you love, to feel at home: a sense of security, a sense of belonging. Home: a person or a place. Maybe both. I wish you all good things this Christmas.