A new year.
And time to bring back The Dirt Road Heaven blog. I started it years ago as a gratitude journal and place to post my photographs of all the beauty that surrounds me here in these piney woods.
Then I got sidetracked. Then I got sideswiped. But I'm cancer free for two years now and finally feeling like me again. And life is too short to let anyone (ANYONE) change the way I feel about this chunk of woods. I've learned that bitter people will always try to share their bitterness but you aren't required to take a bite. There's too much to love, too much beauty and too much gratitude to let the small stuff diminish it in any way.
I lost a dear friend this past November. My dog, Maggie, was my constant companion and woods walker. When her hip dysplasia got so bad she couldn't manage the hills, she would stay at the top and wait for me to return. I expect she's waiting there, in Heaven, as well.
And I have no doubt that she orchestrated our adoption of Gypsy, a Pyr/Anatolian Shepherd rescue only a month after her passing. I wasn't ready to get another dog, but Gypsy's face tugged at my heart through my computer screen and now she walks these hills and trails with me.
Sometimes you have to let go of love .. to have love come again.
There is beauty in decay if you choose to see it that way.
And even winter grasses have as much beauty as spring wildflowers if you don't compare the two.
Beneath this fall's layer of leaves, spring time's violets wait for warmth and longer days to show off.
And some insects find this green moss the perfect place to lay their eggs to insure future generations.
Before I know it, the maple wings will be spiraling to the earth and these bare bones will be just a memory.
Perhaps the box turtle that lives here will show himself on a sunny day in spring.
And by then, Gypsy will be completely at ease in these woods and, day by day, I will continue to grow strong .. and life will always go on.
Happy New Year,
All photos property of Darlene Meader Riggs. © 2014