Snow has been falling for hours. And though there doesn’t seem to be much accumulation — it’s too warm — it’s been beautiful to watch. Beyond quenching the earth and sogging the dirt roads, mostly the snow has served to bury my To Do List.

There’s so much I planned to have done by now, the second week of the new year. So many new ideas I intended to embark on.

Oh, but I’m not giving myself enough credit for all that I’ve accomplished in 11 days, all the plans I’ve made progress on. In fact, if anything it’s been a breathless new year, a breathless pace, and in a couple of weeks, if all goes well, I’ll have an exciting announcement to share with you. As a result I’ve been rather glued to my computer these first days of the New Year, my mind spitting rapid fire ideas as my fingers on the keyboard have become cramped from too much activity!

And so that’s exactly why I decided today to let the snow bury my intentions and instead, in the soft grey light of a sunless morning, to work quietly contentedly on the perfectly pleasantly mundane task of organizing my note cards and stationary. Of all the unimportant projects to work on…..
I didn’t plan on it…. it just happened as I sipped my tea and gathered together the bulging stack of notes and cards I’ve received recently and just fell into a kind of quiet trance as I rifled through my large collection of cards to share and decided which ones to send to whom, and further organized the remainder into themes. Was I wasting precious time on a trivial project? Perhaps. But I sure was enjoying myself. And my mind surely enjoyed the break from thinking so hard about more complex projects.

Once that task was done, and I had finished deciding which salutations to send in the coming weeks, I thought of avoiding screens for the rest of the day. For I do so cherish an “unplugged” day…..

But I also wanted to look through my recent photos….

Recall that when last you heard from me — back in the last year — we (my Man & I) had had to postpone my customary birthday celebration, as well as our customary new year celebration due to inclement weather. But a few days later — last weekend — we were able to revel once again in that spectacular country where we love to celebrate life on this earth.

And what we saw there was indeed spectacular….

 Snowgeese rising en masse at the Bosque del Apache sunset 5 January 2019, photo by artist Dawn Chandler
 Snowgeese rising en masse at the Bosque del Apache sunset 5 January 2019, photo by artist Dawn Chandler
 Snowgeese rising en masse at the Bosque del Apache sunset 5 January 2019, photo by artist Dawn Chandler
 Snowgeese rising en masse at the Bosque del Apache sunset 5 January 2019, photo by artist Dawn Chandler
 Snowgeese rising en masse at the Bosque del Apache sunset 5 January 2019, photo by artist Dawn Chandler
 Snowgeese rising en masse at the Bosque del Apache sunset 5 January 2019, photo by artist Dawn Chandler
 Snowgeese rising en masse at the Bosque del Apache sunset 5 January 2019, photo by artist Dawn Chandler
 Snowgeese rising en masse at the Bosque del Apache sunset 5 January 2019, photo by artist Dawn Chandler
 Snowgeese rising en masse at the Bosque del Apache sunset 5 January 2019, photo by artist Dawn Chandler
 Snowgeese rising en masse at the Bosque del Apache sunset 5 January 2019, photo by artist Dawn Chandler
 Snowgeese rising en masse at the Bosque del Apache sunset 5 January 2019, photo by artist Dawn Chandler
 Snowgeese rising en masse at the Bosque del Apache sunset 5 January 2019, photo by artist Dawn Chandler

The savvy birders among you know that this massive flock of winged beings is not of cranes, but of snow geese. The geese at the Bosque are more numerous and much more raucous than the cranes. But their white plumage glows like moonlight when the light is dim, and, at certain times of day, they make the sun seem to dance across the sky in astonishing ways

It’s funny — and maybe a weak analogy — but it occurs to me that these photos represent a bit of what my new year has been like so far: A mass of projects and appointments and To Dos that seemed to rise out of nowhere and overtake me, leaving me breathless, only to then scatter and diminish, giving me a chance to catch my breath as I single out a few to focus on.

 Cranes flying toward the setting sun at the Bosque del Apache 5 January 2019, photo by artist Dawn Chandler

Which brings me back to my humbly blissful task this morning of sorting my stationary: Some of you who are reading this took the time over the holidays to write me a hand-written note. I can hardly think of a more lovely gift than that of a hand-written communication. Thank you for taking the time to take pen to hand to paper and writing to me; I cherish your gift.

.

.

… Okay, enough of screens for now … it’s time to to make a wee bit of art…

details of one of artist Dawn Chandler's mixed media crane paintings in progress

…and then on to packing…. for we’ll be heading back down to the Bosque this weekend…. Our time with the snow geese and cranes is slipping away too quickly. For February approaches and by mid-month, their beautiful wings will stretch and lift away from us, as they head northward again.

snowgeese and sandhill cranes at the Bosque del Apache at sunset, january 5th, 2019, photo by Dawn Chandler

Despite the government shut down, we are grateful that the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge has remained open (though the Visitors’ Center is closed.) Thankfully the Refuge is just far enough off the well-traveled highway that park abusers have kept away, and the people who have ventured to this oasis remain respectful and appreciative.


artist Dawn Chandler's shadowed silhouette against the canyon wall at Bandelier

Thank you for reading my blog and appreciating my musings.
If you enjoy my posts and know others who might enjoy them too, please feel free to share this.
Blessings ~
Dawn Chandler
p.s.: You can find more of my stories, insights and art here on my website, www.taosdawn.com, as well as on Instagram and Facebook.


Montage of images from artist Dawn Chandler's recent blog post 'new year musings'