Saturday, December 17, 2005


Snow, melt, snow, melt, snow, melt, snow, snow, snow. This seems to be the cadence and rhythm in Northern Michigan. Right now, it’s snowing, and snowing….18 inches in 24 hours this past weekend. On Thanksgiving I thought the driveway shoveling had begun for the season. Then it all melted and I was left wondering why I’d worked so hard. My blisters healed. And then it happened again.

This rhythm and cadence is everywhere in nature. The creek too is in rhythm. As the snow melts, it rises and rushes. Now that the cold is back, its life is much more subdued. The sun that was so high in the sky a few short months ago now never rises above the treetops in my yard. There are hard rocks now buried in the soft snow in the field near my home. Birds, bright during the summer months have dulled to earth tones. Light summer breezes have made way for howling winter winds. Lapping waves will soon be frozen solid and silent. The delicate calls of birds looking for a mate have turned into more anxious announcements that food has been found.

Our own rhythmic actions have a common thread with the Universe. It would serve us well to note that our accomplishments are not solely a result of our skills and knowledge. Our accomplishments also come from our choice of rhythm. Our rhythm or cadence comes from our use of time, space and motion. It’s that wonderful nap before we leap into action. It’s the slow breaths we take in meditation that leads us into the unknown. It’s that long held pose in yoga that guides us to a new understanding of our body and mind. It’s the quiet humming before we break into song. The way we use time, space and energy in these moments makes our journeys interesting. As we learn our own rhythm, changing it in a heartbeat when we feel the urge, we learn to listen and know. We listen and know others. We listen and know nature. We listen and know ourselves. And the songs we sing out into the world, each with their own unique rhythm, will continue long after we’re gone.

"An artist must possess Nature. He must identify himself with her rhythm, by efforts that will prepare the mastery which will later enable him to express himself in his own language." ~Henri Matisse

"Everything has rhythm. Everything dances." ~Maya Angelou

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