A Tangle of Bright Moments: An Impossible Possession

“I should like to be the landscape which I am contemplating, I should like this sky, this quiet water to think themselves within me, that it might be I whom they express in flesh and bone, and I remain at a distance. But it is also by this distance that the sky and the water exist before me. My contemplation is an excruciation only because it is also a joy. I cannot appropriate the snow field where I slide. It remains foreign, forbidden, but I take delight in this very effort toward an impossible possession.” — Simone de Beauvoir, from The Ethics of Ambiguity (1948)


Spouse and I explored a trail we’d never walked (or snowshoed) before, on the second day of February this year (high 30F, low -14F). We got a bit lost, as we have the other time or two we’ve walked it since, but that’s part of the fun, sometimes.

On this particular day, I was apparently noticing patterns — in snow, on trees, made with rocks.

animal tracks in snow
snow patterns
birch bark looking bruised
colourful red birch bark
striped maple tree (Acer pensylvanicum) bark
beech tree with markings … a tear flowing from an eye, or something else perhaps …
one of quite a few rock cairns

This red oak has held onto its leaves, as oaks (and beeches) sometimes do through winter.


Pink lichen on tree bark.


Some shots of the trail.



Distant view of mountains, and a sports field close by.



Featured image: trail marker.
This is one in a series of posts revisiting field trips taken from January to June 2019, as described here.

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