Winter in the Sangre de Cristo mountains offers opportunities for observation and solitude which for me engenders endless contemplation. Whether on cross country skis, snowshoes or hiking boots with Yaktrax – conditions vary widely – the key is to get out there. Winter in the forested mountains is a time of simplicity. The dormancy and stillness allow the subtleties to come forward and be more apparent.
The concept of Wabi Sabi is vast; distilling it to a one sentence definition limiting. Generally, it represents a comprehensive Japanese aesthetic involving the acceptance of transience and imperfection, of seeing beauty in the impermanent. Winter’s simplicity – the absence of lushness and profusion inherent in other seasons – allows the examples of Wabi Sabi, so hidden at other times of the year, to rise to the surface. They become not only apparent, but more stellar in their beauty.
Wabi Sabi is not only the visual, but that which is observable through any sense. In addition to my pictures I’m posting with this, here are a few lines I dashed off when I paused briefly on a recent snowshoe hike, allowing my ears to sense more than the crunch, crunch as I plodded through the deep crusty snow.
The whisper of a wind so gentle
Its facial caress pure tenderness
Ripples through the trees
The bough’s response? A forest murmur
Undetectable but for those listening.
Here in northern New Mexico, truly the Land of Enchantment, one need only be still to be caught up in that enchantment. My passion for wedding officiating in Taos and beyond is augmented by my sojourns into nature. The peace I find helps me distill the essence of the love I want to portray with the couples I’m serving as wedding celebrant!