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out with autumn, in with winter

in this time between seasons
as the wheel turns
and the days darken,
the cold becomes turgid
then flaccid
and again–

disorienting to this body
that craves comfort.

on a pilgrimage
in the forest
i am held
and feel the soft earth
‘neath my feet.

my warm breath
is a bouquet of white flowers
greeting the cold.

i am mostly alone
save fellow travelers
with their canine companions.

all greet me
with pleasure
and i, them
with delight.

traveling onward
i notice i choose
the more difficult path–
the steeper hill,
or the place where obstacles
challenge me.

stacking stones
for other pilgrims,
I set magical intentions
with each stone I carefully

talking to the trees,
my heart weeps
with gladness
at the sheer beauty,
and grace
being alive.

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