There is a craving in my heart. It's a craving for silence and I think it's completely normal but quite rare in this age of carrying communication devices everywhere we go and the age of listening to custom made music play lists everywhere we go. I do believe silence is a forgotten commodity and that the soul needs periods of silence to grow and develop, to cause the brain to reflect and introspect, to see what's working and what's not working in our lives. This is the opening of deer hunting and deer hunting weekend has always been a looked foward to set of days for me. It lets me be a hermit for a few days - no need to talk or interact or be the mom or the cook or the laundress, etc. I can just be. I might have descended from a hermit who must have left his or her cave for a conjugal fling. There have been relatives that preferred the non social life and at least for a couple of days a year, I can relate..........................On a different note, winter weather has finally arrived up here. We had a greatly extended mild Fall and enjoyed spreading all our fall chores out over many weeks. Just this Thursday I completed the raking of the hillside and that feels so good to finish it before the snow accumulates. Tony asked me the other day, why I rake the hillside every Spring and Fall and it kind of puzzled me for a moment. I've done it for decades. I answered that I liked the way it looks after it's raked and that I love being outside working but later I realized that it's much more than that. I love the physical challenge of it and knowing that I'm still up to the challenge of clinging to the vertical rises, bracing myself against small tree trunks to keep my footing, crawling here and there to reach inaccessible crannies and dragging all the leaves on a big silver tarp to soften my pathways for walking. I love seeing the green moss uncovered from the bronze oak oeaves and I like to keep
all the little elder brush and popple sprouts from turning the hillside into a bramble. I keep a trusty pruning shears in my sweatshirt kangaroo pocket and whip it out every few feet to ward off the sprouts. Every year there are so many baby fir trees that eventually when I can't keep up my billy goat antics, maybe the hillside will be a picturesque fir forest. I've included a couple of pictures of the project but as usual, "you just gotta be there" to rake it all in." Pun intended.