About noon today I went for a hike with a small group of friends on a section of the Bruce Trail lying between Felker’s Falls and the Red Hill Creek Expressway, toward the Glendale series of waterfalls. The cold was no real problem (except when a burst of wind would break through a clearing) and snow was falling. It was not one of those bright, shiny, new-glistening-snow-underfoot-and-all-over-the-trees sort of days but even in its dull gray whiteness it seemed special.

The snow underfoot had fallen in the last few hours and lay undisturbed except for the occasional dog and his walker. The snow, still undisturbed by gusts of wind, clung to tree branches. The air, too, was often more full of snow than of light. For a short time I separated from my companions where the trail took two different loops to reach the same spot. And then everything came together in a special way.

Suddenly I was in a private space. The terrain, the muffling snow on the ground and in the air, the silence of wind and wildlife, all combined to make me feel alone. So wonderfully alone, one. Even the dim light, the cool air, and the silence were part of being alive. For that moment, nothing else mattered.

Such little miracles happen every now and then; I savor them, hold them close, often try to turn them into poems. This one also will not be forgotten.

To emphasize it with a strange contrast, I went to a concert later in the evening, a performance by George Sawa of traditional and more recent compositions for the Egyptian Qanun. The multi-stringed psaltery-type instrument was accompanied by percussion instruments, and they in turn accompanied a pair of traditional dancers. This too was spellbinding.

The perfect end to a mystic day.

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