Today many inches of light, fluffy snow softened my neighborhood, and the pale blue shadows on the drifts brought to mind the snow-houses of my childhood.
Memories. The tiny space inside the snow-house was round, and just big enough for one person. The light which found its way through the thick snow walls was an ethereal blue. We had tunneled our way into a huge bank of snow to create the little snow-house, and I loved being inside it, having it all to myself. Sound inside was muffled in the womb-like space. I lay on my back, looking up at the blue-white curved, sparkly ceiling, and enjoyed protection from the winter wind. But most of all, the snow-house entranced me with its quiet beauty.
I have experienced many snow-houses in my life, as well as tree-houses, hiding places under bushes, among large, cave-like rocks, in fields of tall grass, under the trailing branches of a weeping willow, and just about any other place into which I could dig, crawl or climb. Children need special outdoor places, where they can feel safe and connected with our Earth. Special places can form the foundation for a deep and sacred appreciation of the natural world.
Adults, too, need such spaces. Last summer I removed some sturdy, thick grape vines which were strangling a maple tree behind my house, and bent and tied them to create an open-weave dome-shaped space. I would sit in that space at the edge of the ravine, and simply be. Deer, other animals and birds would visit me. I would find peace.
Wishing you many sanctuaries, with and without walls, summer and winter.