Seasonal Dreams...

“Hope smiles on the threshold of the year to come, whispering that it will be better.” - Alfred Lord Tennyson

I am determined to dream in color....
Economic news has been bleak for so long now and times have been tough, and there is yet no end in sight. But disparaging news, the unrelenting challenges of unexpected expenses while pinching our pennies doesn’t mean we are beaten down!

Even if the day is gray and your feet are cold; even if the phones are relentless (or completely dead); even if you have too much to do and no time to do it; even if the checkbook is empty and the mortgage is due; even if the car won’t start for the umpteenth time….wherever you find yourself today; whatever problems or issues you are forced to face today….remember this: Better Days are Coming, (eventually), but we've got to buckle down for this bumpy ride until then.

I don't know when 'then' is, nor how to truly plan for it - for who knows what the future has in store. But I speak from a place of hope. From that perspective, there are plenty of practical things to do, to get down to, and more on that later- this isn't about the practical things.

This is about getting my brain wrapped around the 'better days coming' concept so that any focus on practical things will be motivated. For what good is it to get thru the hard times only to end up where you were in life when it all started? I want to plan on "second chances" - to have a clear idea of where I want to be on the other side of it all, (if & when things begin to look up).

It starts with a dream, a vision of that day - where I am living the life that I drafted and worked to bring about. It starts with where I am now and what it will take from this point to bring that vision to reality.

This Winter '09

We live in a snowglobe, the fat slow flakes come drifting down like feathers – shutting out the world with it’s pure coat, secluding us in that special surreal ‘hush’ of muted sound when it settles.

But after the flurry we are often truly snowbound, surrounded by white glittering banks of snow, no way out to the main road (waiting for a snowplow that we have to pay extra). And by January the woodpile is down to a months' worth of warmth.

We own our own business and have a home office- on call from 7 to 7, but there are in-between times too:
With my morning coffee I catch the sight of the full moon setting alongside of the mountain. As winter lingers, the moon sets further and further to the South, so I watch for the signal we are returning to spring- when it progressively begins to move Northward toward the mountains again.

                                           (moon setting at 5am)

...This Winter I am ‘cocooning’. Winter is dream time…when the sky comes down and envelopes my world in gray so that I see more clearly what is at hand, the muse comes near and whispers her secrets in my ear, my thoughts too close in, and the dog at my feet lends a certain contentedness to the warm cocoon of the house. It's easy now to plan changes for the upcoming year, imagine the new wings I will have grown, wings of a different color, bigger wings that will take me farther than ever before - or to places I've never experienced.

There is chili in the crockpot, and shadows dance on the walls from candles burning in scents of cedar or honey. The soft haunting flutes and drum of American Indian music serenade us as we sip on hot cocoa, watching in awe the eagle that lands for the night on the branch of a nearby Ponderosa pine. We are mesmerized by the large bird, and watch it until the color has drained out of the sky and the sun fades over the edges of the earth.
I may spend time crafting (pillow cases with phrases and lullabies written on them) for all my grandchildren – the one I know, and those to come… and those with dolls to come…

In Spring... I’ll fill the house with wildflowers from the hills, and dry them between the pages of books to dress the house with cheer when the weather turns cold again... I’ll cover the bed with sheets fresh from the clothesline so that the house smells like the coming of the rain; I dream in watercolors.

I’ll wander the property collecting wood and kindling, looking up to watch cloud animals float by…and I will write about the silent lightening shows and thunderstorms and our Colorado Dream.

We talk of ponds and raising our favorite foods- enough to sell and share a bit. I wish to raise chickens and bees here at the foot of these mountains; to ride my beautiful, wild Cherihuka, a horse never yet ridden. (Training is my biggest personal challenge ever.)

In Summer... I will write ‘Morning Pages’ at my marble bistro table on the deck (the birds, the scent of pines, gentle light of a warm sun, make this a sacred place – the table was given to me years ago for Mothers’ Day by my eldest daughter who lives across the country).

(this is the bistro set in the yard of our last home)

I spend time weeding and raking and moving rocks around like a bird arranging the grasses of it’s nest; it’s never perfect, but it’s great exercise.
After we pull together a perfect meal around the BBQ (a shared endeavor with my husband). We sit and listen to the birds, and watch deer wandering among the trees –at ease here, enveloped in our own private wilderness. Often late in the day we will sit in the breeze on the deck drenched in tiny lights that sparkle off the water fountain. We watch the sun go down (this ends the work-day in quiet conversation). We watch the distant lightening of summer storms & the dramatic clouds lit by the changing colors of dwindling sunlight (this is the only drama we want).

I’m entertaining the idea of expanding our social life out to the deck this summer… play tick-tac-toe w/ painted rocks on a piece of extra floor tile (stone), and checkers on a handmade board with handmade painted pieces.
Serving frosty glasses of root beer floats and refreshing sangria punch.

Come Fall I will gather bushels of wild apples from the park along the river to feed the horse and toss out to the deer in the middle of winter.

The sun lingers long on the horizon to allow an extra half hour of work or play. The colors of the sky are ever-changing due to the mix of monsoon clouds and clear skies… a never-ending drama. It is a time of changing over to gray landscapes, but before that, I’ll collect colored leaves and pinecones and dip them in wax to preserve their vivid colors. I’ll dip candles to make gift sets of them.
I hope to share these days with guests playing horseshoes, to have bonfires, and to serve fully loaded fancy caramel apples, flavored toasted pumpkin seeds nuts, and cups of hot cider w/ cinnamon sticks.

Next Winter... 

my Cherihuka will spend his 'vacation' with a mare up the road. I will spend time pondering the next word, the next brush stroke, sipping hot cocoa in this retreat I created for myself in the attic. (On my to-do list).

It will be a room that says everything about who I am, surrounded by a mural of visual serenity that inspires my creative passions – one wall painted to look like a medieval window overlooking an ethereal blue-green forest.

Here I will write, and paint, and craft things. The room smells of honey scented candles, and everywhere are bouquets of paint brushes splattered with acrylic color. I wilI play my favorite soft and primal Celtic music and feel an overwhelming sense of well-being; warm and comforting; like I’ve found home… 
I will say, “Today ends the last chapter of my book, and a beginning chapter in my life”. 
I can taste the steaming hot cocoa already... 

Where do you see yourself a year from now? Will you begin a new chapter, or begin the end of one?
What will be different then, than now? 

I'd be pleased for you to share your vision!

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