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Yesterday, trailing Boyd Pond on a woods path called the Contemplative Trail, we came upon some of our nearest neighbors. We met two friends on foot and chatted with a few others as they slid by on their Nordic skates, long aluminum blades sparking a most welcome sun. In the distance, a solitary ice-fisherman tended to his lines. A teen tethered to a lead was pulled by a kindred sheepdog. An older sheepdog was free-ranging. We were hiking with friends, our own mutts frolicking ahead, looping back, clocking in triple the number of steps as we were. A beautiful Sunday afternoon.

Within an hour, the sun dipped, and we felt the temperature dropping. The only place we could continue to scrape for a Vitamin D fix was to step out from the trees and into the middle of the lake, so we chose the glassy-surfaced East Branch as our path home.

Oh, the thrill of it, the tentative sliding, the pretending to twirl like figure skaters in our boots, the lying down on the ice, flapping arms, ice angels. As we neared the house, we felt contented, lifted, like satisfied children on being called in for supper at dusk after a long day at play, full moon rising. For a few hours, we let go of our troubles. We were fortunate to do so, privileged, grateful.

Today, the rains whips and the winds howl. Finding light in the gray can be tough. On the drearier days, looking for a scrap of beauty in the space where one is currently “homing” might offer an uplifting experience, one to maybe make into practice. I try.

(Photo: Jodi Paloni)

My eyes land on something beautiful that gives me a sense of home, of safety, security, beauty, abundance. I stand before it. Take it in. Breathe. I snap a photo with my phone camera. I zoom in, and zoom in, and zoom, until I find what I am looking for. Today, a blurred sphere. For me, the year 2022 carries the theme of circles. I don’t know why. It’s what came to me on New Year's Day and I’m paying attention. Voila!

(Photos: Jodi Paloni)

Creativity Prompts

~ Wherever you are, look around you. Let your eyes land on something in your space that gives you a sense of home. Go to it. Stand before it. Breathe for your body, and then take an intentional breath into the beauty you chose. Allow yourselves to embody the artifact, the view, another being, whatever you chose. Close your eyes and still see it. Allow it to embody you.

~ Open your eyes. With your phone, take a photo. Let your eyes choose a particular aspect of this photo, then take another shot, zooming in. Repeat. Repeat.

~ Write about what you found. Begin with the lead line below and then expand. Set your timer and write for 10 minutes. Allow anything that wants to come to flow onto the page. Try not to overthink it.

I find a sense of home in this…

For me, the result was: I find a sense of home in this blur of a sphere, tiny bubble caught in bluish-green glass, the wall of a jar.

~ In writing, we practice zooming in to bring our reader close to the experience of a moment depicted, to feel more closely what the narrator is sensing. Read over what you just wrote. Choose a line, and to it, add another line with the intent to draw your reader in closer.

~Next, make a representational drawing of what you saw in your space or create an image of assemblage that depicts the feeling or sentiment of what came, what feeling of home. It can be a simple drawing, or perhaps it will become the spark of an idea to work on something for days, weeks, months, perhaps until spring.

I give much gratitude to Sabina @forestacollective and the January Full Moon Dojo for the spark of this prompt. Please check out their beauteous work in the world. I hope you enjoy "homing" as much as I did today.

Enjoy! I'll be back when the moon is next new.

~ Jodi xo


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