“The physical landscape is baffling in its ability to transcend whatever we would make of it. It is as subtle in its expression as turns of the mind, and larger than our grasp; and yet still knowable.” -Barry Lopez, Arctic Dreams

It’s been 52 weeks since I began doing yoga at home on Sunday mornings over Zoom, and I think, 53 weeks of Zoom church. Today, I will miss church to ski. The loppet in memory of Dennis Miles is around noon, and begins at the little shelter at 25 Mile built in memory of a handful of outdoor enthusiasts and lovers of this beautful place: Dennis, Bobbi Figdor and Pete Lapham. I wrote Dennis’ obituary and gave Pete’s eulogy. Bobbi died when I was on my back following my bike accident– that all seems so long ago. Another time and place.  But yet, not, you know?

This year of Covid has forced introspection in the way I’m not always comfortable with. And it has also given me a greater appreciation  of my backyard. The hour long beach walks, daily emotional fill-ups with a friend, and then sometimes twice, and on hard days, three times for the dogs and me- have remained a constant, the same but new– and  there is a lesson here: as the same place is never the same, and not just the weather, or the light, or the tide, but me in it.  I am different daily. As Barry Lopez writes, the walking here turns my mind, but also my heart. Today I’m thinking of what we’ve lost this year (and other years past, those friends and family) but also what I’ve found. Love. Home. Friends. Family. This very firm ground and wildly entertaining wind and weather. (And company.)

And what I’ve missed: community in person. So I’m going skiing today, and seeing everyone, out there- out here– where the clouds, sun, wind, river, mountains and even the snow hold part of Dennis– and Bobbi and Pete in them– and me too. It’s all shadow and light.  “Larger than our grasp; and yet still knowable.”