Monday, January 16, 2017

The land of the ice, snow & stars

I do not know what words to speak, even silently, on a still day like this. 

White sky, white roofs, like a held breath, a waiting, a sleeping. 

The snow is soft and silent over the earth. If only it were a healing blanket on the planet. What if, beneath it, the earth's bones, flesh and blood reknit every winter, mending what we have harmed? 

How peacefully we could then rest in winter, imagining the lands and waters being slowly restored to health. 

Until learning about global warming, I had no thought at all that the glaciers at the poles were necessary for life on earth, that they hold within the depths of their ice-blue hearts the great powers of winter to cool the temperature of our entire planet. 

We often see snow and cold as harmful, even deadly—antithetical to life. Not as a life-giving shield of protection to our planet and all living things. But now we see how lacking in understanding we have been, and that it is at least as much Protector as Destroyer.   

If only the realm of the Snow Queen could be revived in the far north and the far south once again, and the healing could begin.  

If only healing could ever happen as quickly and easily as harming. 

Once, a lovely person confided to me a one-line poem she had made: "I'm lonely for when the earth was okay." 

I am lonely for that time, too. Even while realizing that I may have never even lived in such a time. 

The stars, if my eyes could see them, might ease this loneliness, for a little while. They, thankfully, are too far away for us to have harmed, at least thus far.

The Nature 365 video journal above was filmed in far northern Minnesota by wildlife photographer and filmmaker Jim Brandenburg, and directed by Laurent Joffrion. Subscribe to view these glorious short earth films every day of 2017.


  1. 'If only healing could ever happen as quickly and easily as harming' - oh, if only...
    A beautiful, deeply thoughtful post, thank you x

  2. Thank you so much for reading, Claire.

  3. And thank you for your comment on my poem - I left a wee reply :)

  4. I heard a scientist say last year that if you are 30 or younger, you have never experienced a normal temperature month! I am only a little over 30, so temperatures were only 'normal' when I was a young baby. Of course, the damage to the earth, apart from climate change, has been occurring for much longer than the last 30 years, but it does give pause for thought. Things have been abnormal for decades, and are only getting worse. I wish there was a way to heal the earth, before it is too late. It saddens me, the loss of ice and snow. And in these heatwave summer days, here in Australia, I am longing for coolness. Thank you for this thoughtful post.

    1. I think it is quite sad for people who have never known a normal temperature season, and it is also terribly sad if you are old enough to have seen how dramatically the weather has shifted—especially how it is throwing off the animal kingdom, who cannot evolve quickly enough to cope with the changes we are bringing about. There is grief for all at every point in this, isn't there? I wish you a reprieve from the heat of summer!


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