Walking. With Cristian Pavón Peneda.

291 days. Consecutive. Like in a row. Cove Island Park daybreak walk.

I approach the gate to the Park. The Park gate is unlocked, the Park Keeper has never missed a day. And, I’ve never seen him. (Or her.)

Park is empty.

Me. My camera slung over my shoulder. Triple layers up and down, except hands, a pair of wafer thin gloves that allow me to trigger the camera dials.

27° F, feels like 17°, fingers are tingling, wind gusts pierce the thinsulate fibers. I slap my hands together trying to get the blood flowing. It’s not working.

I step off the path into the snow, piercing the layer of frost on top of powder snow.

I walk further out to get my shot.

The snow thins out, my right boot falls six inches down, water gushes in. I yank my foot out, grateful to have kept my balance and not immerse the gear. It’s all about the gear.

I get the shot. That shot, up top. Certainly not that good, or worth all that.

I walk.

Fingers are now ice cold. And the right boot, right sock, right foot are slopping in the sopping wet boot. Sh*t. Damn sh*t.

Mind drifts to Alison Luterman’s “Because Even The Word Obstacle Is An Obstacle.” It opens with…

Try to love everything that gets in your way:

and continues with some moving lines that you need to read here

And then closes with…

So your moment
of impatience must bow in service to a larger story,
because if something is in your way it is
going your way, the way
of all beings; towards darkness, towards light.

My fingers numb, right toes tingling. I’m cold. Damn cold.

An 11-year-old boy in Conroe TX died in his sleep of hypothermia…found unresponsive under a pile of blankets in a bed that he had been sharing with his 3-year-old stepbrother… after the family’s poorly insulated 40 year old single wide mobile home lost power during record low temperatures. Boy had been playing outside the previous day …excited…as it was his “first time” seeing snow.

I take the boots off in the garage. Wet socks come off too. I come through the back door in bare feet. The oil furnace hums in the basement. The warmth hits me. The house is quiet.  Our Rachel is visiting this weekend. She sleeps under a down comforter. Eric, living with us through COVID, sleeps soundly as well, two doors down. And Susan, further down the hall, sleeps with Sully. Still. Quiet. Peaceful. Warm. Blessed for this family…

And Cristian Pavón Peneda’s 3-year old stepbrother stirs in about an hour. His Mother’s arm is wrapped tightly around him.  Both are asleep in the same poorly insulated mobile home, on a mattress on the floor.

One will soon wake and look to play with his older brother.

And the other, towards darkness, towards light.


Notes:

Comments

  1. So evocative.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. heartbreaking

    Liked by 1 person

  3. La vie est faite de petits bonheurs – life is made of little moments. If there is a benefit to getting older (other then the biggest – the good fortune of getting older), it is the ever-expanding wonder in and appreciation of small moments. The vide of Cristina Pineda playing in the snow, the day before adds to the heartache. The humility that accompanies warmth, family, health…and your consecutive days of capturing moments.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. so touching. Thank you dear Dave, Love, nia

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Mimi said it all (and even better, she said it in French! 😄) One of my biggest life lessons from this past pandemic year is ‘Don’t sweat the small stuff.’ I’ve come to realize how often I get wrapped around the axle about things that simply will not matter in a few days, heck, likely in a few hours. Need to conserve energy for the really big problems, and remember to gracefully accept all the small blessings along the way. Thanks for the reminder, pal, and for getting out there and delivering another batch of beautiful visual ruminations. (And love that poem….💕)

    Liked by 1 person

  6. “291 days. Consecutive. Like in a row.”

    Covid stay-at-home orders have held many obstacles for all of us yet you walked into the darkness and light every morning, taking the same path that has never been the same every single morning for 291 days – we would never have had the beauty you’ve created with those days of isolation without Covid as the obstacle to being out in the world.

    Truly inspiring.

    As is your story — inspiring and heartbreaking. Delicate and memorable and tragic and full of loss and full of possibility. Like the weave of days you’ve spent walking taking photos of your world along the same path where the gatekeeper miraculously opens the obstacle keeping you from the path in all kinds of weather.

    Thank you for showing with such grace and grit “how to love everything that gets in your way.”

    And yes, that poem is beautiful.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Heartfelt David🙏❣️sending you warmth 💫 lovely thread too.

    Like

  8. These 291 daily walks of yours have been inspiring. I’m doing my minimum 10k steps every single day since January 3 and want to reach your number 😉
    Thank you to Beth for sharing that amazing poem with you and to you for you for sharing it with us.
    That story in Texas is heartbreaking.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Vera Kanigan says:

    Such inspiring posts, David! Amazing 291 days of them! Happy you’re safe and the furnace is humming…feel fortunate for the warmth in spite of the cold. Warm blessings…

    Liked by 1 person

  10. All so beautiful and all so heartbreaking at the same time…

    Liked by 1 person

  11. It is good to hear your voice my friend. I begin teaching a class on darkness and light (expands to dualism) this evening — this post is a true example of the opposites among us. Heart-breaking and filled with gratitude.
    Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Expansion, compassion and perspective are practices that keep me grounded in life. There is always a way through a tragic situation when we have an open kind heart and a deeper perspective. Your post is a beautiful reminder DK 🙏🏻

    Liked by 1 person

  13. such a sad story from Texas…

    Liked by 1 person

  14. woaw, what a story, beginning on an amusing, funny note, veers then to another ‘story’, not a funny one at all – reminding me to be extra thankful for our warm appartment, a person paid to move the snow from the footpaths, a phone number on the ready in case any appliance fails in the building….
    Beautifully told, touching, with no extra words but those needed to tell, admiration for your style swimming on top of my thoughts – but so, so sad underneath!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Such a poignant reflection Dave. The photograph becomes very powerful with your words.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. A powerful write, David. Perspective is everything. We humans do love to wallow in our misery, as if we were the only ones suffering the even slightest of perceived injustices that occur in our world. And yet. We are never alone in our suffering, and shifting our viewpoint, as you so aptly did, opens up a visa of possiblities across the board. And we never do know how far reaching these realizations affect our world. Kudos to you. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I have hundreds of friends down here that went 4 days with no power. And a good percentage of them are fighting busted pipes and falling sheetrock. Those are mighty obstacles, but nothing compared to freezing ro death under a stack of blankets.
    Loved the poem in its entirety. Very nice.

    Liked by 1 person

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