I am sure by now you are aware of the tragic events that unfolded yesterday in Newtown, Connecticut.
My heart is absolutely broken, and I can't even begin to imagine what the families of those children and other victims are experiencing waking up this morning. All of the tomorrows are gone.
A society in which something like this happens is broken.
It's clear that mental health services aren't enough right now. Gun control is laughable. I don't know what the answer is, but how many more times does something like this need to happen before something is done?
I wish for peace and healing for the families in Connecticut this morning and for all mornings to come.
No words that I can write here will ever be enough, either to adequately express my feelings, or to convey what I hope for the future.
The longer I live here, the more impatient I become with the normal happenings in larger cities and towns. We went "south" this past weekend, and traffic and lines and bustling people just served to make me a little more unhinged.
Here I have my wide open space, my quiet, little to no traffic, and shorter lines. I feel that down there I am driven to go, go, go, and here I don't have to do anything if I don't want to.
I come home every time grateful for what I have and in wonderment at the frustrations that used to be part of my regular life. I merely accepted the stresses - I didn't like them, but they were just there.
I realize this is more a commentary on my personality flaws than the people who choose to live in larger, busier places. I'm not always the most patient of people.
Light snow fell gently and quietly all day today. I love days like today. The earth is winding down for winter's sleep. I've written about my feelings on winter before, and I am continually surprised at how much they have changed since we've moved here.
I truly despised winter when we lived farther south. But it's different here.
Quiet, still, peaceful.
Winter brings out a beauty that all the other seasons just can't hold a candle to.
I am so looking forward to snowy days and nights, the woods blanketed in a shimmering silence.
These days have been busy days for me, but not so busy that I haven't been taking my morning photos. It's no secret that morning is my favourite time of day. Here are some shots from the last few mornings.
We have had a stretch of warmer weather lately, but soon the days and nights will cool, bringing ice and snow once again to Maple Lake.
I am looking forward to the changes the new season will bring.
Last week I noticed something strange on the driver's side front door of my car. A paw-print. Actually two paw prints. One was very clear, while the other was smudged as if whatever had made the mark was scrambling or slipping a bit. It was rather large. Too large to be a stray cat. It was large enough to make me think that whatever made the print was looking into my car window.
And what was it?
My first thought was feline. The pads are more round than oval, in particular the centre pad. There is also no evidence of a claw register. Now, a claw register likely wouldn't show up on a print left on a car, but the complete absence of one made me think cat. The reason why the claw register is important is this: a cat retracts its claws when walking, therefore leaving no claw impressions. A canine doesn't, and the claw registers in a print.
A visit with my granddad confirmed my suspicions. He believes it was a bobcat, too.
Now. Do I really think a bobcat was roaming around by my house and looking in my car? I don't know. There is certainly plenty of bobcat habitat around here - but why would one come so close to our house, and what would it want with my car.
But was else could it be?
In referencing my tracking book (Tracking and the Art of Seeing: How to Read Animal Tracks & Sign by Paul Rezendes), I concluded that by the size of the prints, it could be one of three things: the aforementioned bobcat, a large fox or a domestic dog. The prints measured 2 1/4 inches by 2 1/4 inches.
We have plenty of fox, and they do come close to the house, so it certainly could be that. There aren't many dogs around, though, so I'm hesitant to say it was a dog. There is also the shape of the print to consider. It is quite round and symmetrical (as evidenced by the measurements!). Cat prints are typically more rounded than canine, and there is still the issue of no claw register.
I suppose I will never know what left the prints on my car that morning, but I will always wonder, and be aware, in particular when I am leaving to go anywhere in the dark!
I know this is a recurring theme in my posts, but it's one that I believe in deeply and turn to in times of doubt or uncertainty.
The sun rises every day and we are given a great choice - we can face the day with a positive outlook and a heart full of hope that we will overcome obstacles, both internal and external. Or, we can dwell on yesterday. The mistakes we made or the disappointments dealt to us won't fade unless we let them go.
Every day I try hard to make the choice that fills me with happiness. Choosing to look for the positive makes my heart light. Sometimes it's a hard choice to make, and it can be almost downright impossible. But as the sun comes up every morning, I try to take a moment to reflect, and be hopeful for a day full of joys and successes.