Posted by: Dave Neads | November 9, 2010

Winter Wisdom

The Hindu tradition describes four seasons to a person’s life. In youth basic character is molded into a fully developed individual. Then comes the phase of building a home, gathering food and shelter for family, raising children, fully participating in society. In the third quarter of life comes a withdrawal from the material world, a time of “going into the forest” where the emotional frailties of life, death, and the spirit of self are explored and come to terms with.

Finally, we reach old age and become leaders, demonstrating our readiness to pass through the great whorls of energy into another realm. The understanding that endings create beginnings by moving through cycles is the wisdom passed on by elders.

So it is with that great sweep of land we call  ARK. Youth is but a distant millions year-old memory. ARK has raised its mountains, has carved its glacial valleys, has nourished countless broods of all manner of living creatures from the tiny voles to majestic caribou. Yet each year, as the earth spins through space and time, ARK experiences anew the “petite mal”, the little death of winter.

Covering the heads and shoulders of the peaks and ridges sprawled across ARK’s massive frame, the mantle of snow is settling. This is not the mottled, brown-black snow of the city, nor even the dust-laden snow of the country field. This is the pure, blue-white snow of the high country.

There is no snow like it. It is sometimes crusty, sometimes sugary, sometimes creamy like newly churned butter, and now this snow of ARK’s upper reaches is beginning to descend from its lofty lair to the forests below.

We have been watching it coming for weeks, inexorable, implacable, slowly marching down the mountainsides, finally to came at rest on our doorstep.

The wisdom of snow is the wisdom of old age. Transforming all into a white universe, displaying the ancient truth of endings, ARK becomes a Hindu priest dispensing wisdom and truth with the placement of winter’s shroud on the land.


  1. Cool!

  2. Dave,
    Improve on this if you can!

    The Chilcotin Ark
    A most beautiful fragment of the Earth
    Unknown and lightly touched by 100 generations
    Containing the soul of British Columbia, while
    Embodying the spirit of Canada

  3. Superb writing Dave; some of your best and particularly appropriate for what you are going through in your life right now.

  4. Dave:

    Its been awhile since we’ve had the joy of ready about life in the precipice. Are you and family in the Precipice Okay?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: