(Continued from Winter Wonder) As the afternoon progressed the sun came out in earnest. I was afraid that the heat would come and take it all away; not just the snow but everything that came with it. As this wunderkind and his prospective mate wandered about the snowy forest around me, I was gifted with another image with which to punctuate this occasion in my memory….and perhaps an image through which to pass on something of the intangible blessing that I received that day. How can I possibly hope to describe the sense of all pervading presence that I felt then? Words speak only to prior understanding already resident in the mind; this was entirely new to me; I had no conceptual box to place it in and now all the words I reached for to describe it only seemed to diminish the enormity of it. What had I done to be graced with permission to enter into this grand space? How could I be certain to repeat it if the feeling of it became lost to me again?! I realized that I had felt this way before, a very long time ago as a child wandering alone in the forest. I had forgotten, because at that early age it was just something that I was part of and with nothing yet with which to compare it, there was little conscious awareness of it. Once it was gone, once I had lost the sense of it for good, it was necessary that I forget its passing, for the recognition of the loss was simply too much for my young heart to bear. My eyes began to leak a bit there in that snowy landscape; I was grieving the loss at last, a necessary rite of passage in order that I might once again enter into that communion, once lost, now regained. The pain did not swallow me up and suck me down into perpetual misery; it was as if this presence, this awareness restoring itself within me knew how to move through and into indescribable wonder. I had given it permission to heal me and so it was that this new state of being began to restore me into itself. I became that. And it continues. It seems that the more I want it to deepen, the more readily it occurs.
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Nikon F5, f2.8 @1/120, 200 mm, Fuji Velvia 50, SB-25 Speedlight @ -1.3 exp.comp. Wemberly Head, Gitzo tripod, Great Smoky Mountain National Park