Walking. With Breath-Cloud.

6:00 am.

I’m layered up. From bottom and working up: Wool socks. (2 pair). Long johns. Sweat pants. Snow pants. T-shirt. Long sleeved turtle neck. North Face hoodie. North Face jacket. Tuk, pulled down firmly over the ears. Fur-lined Sorel Boots. Gloves.

And the gear. Air pods. iPhone. Car Keys. Camera bag. Camera(s). Len(s). Memory card. Extra battery. Monopod. Wallet. And a Sling to hold it all.

This ensemble, embarrassing really, for a Canadian, who went to school in Northern Michigan. Man-up has an entirely new convention at middle-age — this not being a trek to the top of the Himalayas.

18° F this morning, wind gusts up to 20 mph. Feels like? 8° F.  Pretty Damn Cold.

I step out of the car at Cove Island Park, and a wind gust delivers its wake-up call. Eyes water. 228 consecutive days on this morning walk. But this one feels like a test. Body doesn’t want any part of this…

“Hey Siri. What time does the sun rise today?” Siri (perky): “Good Morning David. The Sun will rise at 7:14 am today.” She remembered my name! (Blush)

45 minutes until Sunrise. 45 minutes. Wow.

I walk.

Not a single soul out. I tromp out with my snow boots on the uncleared path, taking firm, deliberate, heavy steps, careful not to hit black ice.

Triple layers. All the gear. Anxiety over taking a tumble head first, and the ever-present risk of camera flying into a snow bank. God, I’m tired, and I couldn’t have walked 1/2 mile.

I walk.

I reach The Three Sisters. Their portrait above. Carol has named them, and it’s stuck.  ‘You cold Ladies? Not sure I could bear this. How old are you? 25? 35? Dealing with frost, cold, high winds, stifling heat. And there you stand welcoming me each morning. But waking to that orange popsicle horizon, now that’s Something Awesome, really.”

I walk.

I hold my breath to a count of 10, one Mississippi, two Mississippi, three…

And then a slow release of a “breath-cloud.” The Mind, ever-More, ever-Working, draws up a passage from Han Kang’s “The White Book” from a chapter titled “Breath Cloud

“Our lives’ miraculous diffusion, out into the empty air.”

Just another morning walk around Cove Island Park.

Just another Great day to be alive.

Comments

  1. I would hate to have a urge for a quick trip to the bathroom! HAHA!!!!! Great shots.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ahhh… those sisters… always whispering stories to the rising sun. Full of the tales they’ve heard as the wind passed through their branches with summer’s heat and now, winter’s icy breath.

    So glad you went to hear their stories and shared them here with us David. A lovely (albeit chilly) morning wake up.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Cal Ripken’s got nothing on you…
    I can’t imagine there will be many days as cold as this, so since you survived this one, you’re good to go…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. How wonderful to not waste the world. I was right there with ya (shivering!) as I read this.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Love this, David. And there is no shame to needing to bundle up. Not everyone can handle the cold.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Love being with you…even though warmer and much later. The Three Sisters is such a perfect name, especially on a cold day…like that of Chekhov’s 3 young lovlies in always snowy Russia. For some reason, when you share your experience of the orange popsicle horizon it made me cry! Just reading that in a book wouldn’t have gotten to me, but the way you take us with you…

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Ahhh, pal, so very glad that you suited up and headed out! It was in the low 40s here this morning and I started the fireplace, so you get ALL the props from me. And these photos, these fiery paeans to the breaking of the new day, well, there’s your reward (and ours). 💕🥶

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    Inspiring … “Our lives’ miraculous diffusion, out into the empty air.” So very much needed!!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Pillsbury Man! Lol

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Fellow Canadian, if there’s one thing we know, it’s how to layer. I don’t do hats though. My head’s too fat, my hair too big, and it ends up riding up and looking like the tip of a condom. Happy trails!

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Being in nature, winter, summer, autumn or spring, awakens us again and again to the gift of all life and the preciousness of each breath. Well done to you and your commitment to this space 👏⛄️👏⛄️

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Oh what a most beautiful post this is – but that temperature! That’s a killer…. i looked it up to know what that is in Celsius: -7.778 degrees celsius! Made me think (and shudder) of the times we went on skiing hols with family, kid, granny, dog, skis, sledge and God knows what – and went out in minus 17 degrees C – I did that for maybe one run down and that was that…. I am not made for weather like that. I like my body toasty with warmth, a large mug of tea (or red as per day time), and watching the world go by. But you described your early walk in such a beautiful fashion that I nearly grabbed my winter coat and walked out …. mesmerizing! Luckily I remembered that we had guests and that this was the ‘first of many’ mini Christmas celebrations and I was the hostess….. oufff!
    Thank you for this beautiful and wonder-filled walk – I am sadly a Michelin woman sans extra layers and I can’t imagine myself nowadays with so many layers as the first thing normally is that I need the quiet place where it all has to come down again 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  13. No matter what the weather, it’s a great day to be alive.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Fun. My wife and had a cold exhilarating walk, also. Only 29 degrees here, though. You took some lovely photos. I left my camera at home. I had my mobile, but no great sunrise to capture. On the wrong side of the hill. Have a great Sunday.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Beautiful photos. Amazing how trees that are ‘naked’ make it seem like it is cold outside!
    Or, as we say here in Alberta, a bit cool. The same temperatures next spring will feel much warmer to us.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. “I’m layered up. From bottom and working up: Wool socks. (2 pair). Long johns. Sweat pants. Snow pants. T-shirt. Long sleeved turtle neck. North Face hoodie. North Face jacket. Tuk, pulled down firmly over the ears. Fur-lined Sorel Boots. Gloves.” – Wow, I have some shopping to do! I was in Yosemite on Friday and was sooooo cold, thinking I need to buy some warmer clothing before I go back in January. You’ve given me my shopping list… lol On the other hand, last night I watched The Dawn Wall (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=edfw9ip9sCQ&feature=youtu.be)…and I thought OMG, that guy was there the same time as me and he’s climbing a wall in this weather, and not even complaining about the weather. Anyway, love your stories, David…thanks. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Beautiful Pictures ,here in Southern California we went for a hike today at 52 degrees (laughing) and man it was cold (again laughing).It’s never a wrong time to be in nature . There should be more options to react on a post like love ,wow etc because I would really want to do that for your posts. .Stay safe and healthy !

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Lovely pic and quote, thanks for sharing.
    The older I get, the more I’m amazed at how people survive and thrive in cold climates. It is 75 degrees F here and my knees are threatening to lockdown.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. ““Our lives’ miraculous diffusion, out into the empty air.”

    Just another morning walk around Cove Island Park.

    Just another Great day to be alive.”

    You are amazing dear Dave, with your first word at the beginning you made me laugh, I tried to imagine how you look with all these wearing carrying things… But you are doing well, as a proffessional photographer and also walker/treeking etc. Of course this is your own Himalayaas, everyone has his own one… And I watched and read with a feelings of admire… Photographs are also talking and the quote hits in the same way, but especially the last lines in your post what I loved most. Beautiful. Walking is your muse(s) this is clear, Thank you for sharing, I enjoyed so much. Love, nia

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Oooh, I felt the bitter cold, and the deep warmth. Congratulations on Day 228 and your steady commitment to mornings at Cove Island Park.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Beautiful photos, as usual. Sorrells are the BEST. Have mine on most days now. I keep my Uggs for cleat days – keep my ice cleats firmly attached to them. Ski poles at the ready when it looks icy. I don’t worry about age and the cold, mostly because my 20-year-younger FINNISH (98% says his DNA) husband resists the cold more than I ever could! Misses Hawaii, which I do NOT, was steaming hot there All the time, miserable. He is, anyway, learning to layer up more than I need to, but so be it. We do what we must!

    Love the Siri/blush comment 😉 Silly. xo

    Liked by 1 person

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