Fire and ice

It was 13 degrees when we woke up yesterday morning here at Pokeberry Pines, snow and ice still clinging to the ground. With two snow/ice storms within a week, and another week of below freezing nighttime temperatures to come, it feels like winter has finally arrived in North Carolina. That’s a good thing. We’re getting some much-needed moisture in the ground, and maybe those low temperatures will reduce some of the insect pests of summer.

The first storm was mostly freezing rain and ice which left a nice crust of cold on the ground for a few days.

Tulip poplar seed pod rests on a crust of ice, January 18, 2022

Before the second round of snow came down, the days were cold and brisk, but Mr. EndlessSeeker and I both found ourselves drawn to be outdoors. It just didn’t feel right to sit in the house when the woods and the gardens were calling to us. We wandered the property just to wander. We sat on our bench in the woods and listened to the woodpeckers, wrens, and chickadees chatting about. And we danced around our campfire in broad daylight and 28 degree weather, sipping imperial stout with glove-covered hands.

This fire circle has become sacred space here on our homestead – a place to honor the elements, converse with friends, share a drink, eat toasted marshmallows, read, rest, and wonder at the stars above. I think as humans we are naturally drawn to fire. It brought us warmth and light when we had none before. It allowed us to cook food and create new tools. It provided us protection from predators and brought people together in one place, allowing us to bond with each other and create pairs that stayed together.

So, perhaps our attraction to this sacred fire circle was born from our DNA. Whatever the reason, being by the fire is always special, fun, magical. On this day before the second storm, our fire warmed our bodies, hearts, and spirits as we waited for the snow to begin falling again.

The next morning, we woke to three or so inches of snowfall – fluffy as a down feather pillow. It was beautiful, especially since we had no where to go. All the ice from the first storm and the snow from the second has allowed us to stay home and take time to truly enjoy our little homestead. Covered with snow, it feels different, quieter, more hallowed…

Deer tracks in the snow

…revealing new evidence of critters (in the form of tracks) and a whole kaleidoscope of new shapes, shadows, and shimmers. Here’s a little video montage to show you some of what we saw here after the snowfall…

Fire and ice, hot and cold.

Change, transformation, magic.

What meaning do fire and ice have for you?

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