Natural Medicine on Ice

Natural Medicine on Ice

Natural Medicine on Ice


It’s sleeting and raining and snowing.

Ice blankets the branches,

Turned pavement to treachery

This town is closed.


No cars pass this house.

Frozen bird feeders magnetize wildlife;

The scurry and flutter of creatures is all that moves under an icy downpour of sodden pellets.


My schedule is frozen and the promise of a day off is both exhilarating and nerve racking.

I’m not good at this.

The stillness reminds me that I’m exhausted and too restless to stay put

With projects I’d sooner leave in a rear view mirror.


My dog and I take tentative steps onto a dicey front porch.

I’m four layers deep, finished in an old ski jacket.

Despite the icy hill, we pick our way up the road’s shoulder

And head for the lake.


I slide backwards again and again down the slope that cuts to the lake road

And finally find footing in a swath of old leaves on the edge of the woods.

My husband has slipped my phone into a pocket worried that I’ll fall in a world of aloneness.


I recall a snowy mountain in my past

Three miles up and the road just a path

I’d climb home in darkness,

Moonlight on the snow

I’m used to the simple company of dogs in wilding times.


My husband persists

He reminds me that I have a failing hip

What if I fall?



I’m shushing down the road like a pretend skater

Running without lifting my feet

That slide without slipping.

The woods are silent and I silently pray for no trespassers other than me.

Red and I

My co-conspirator pup’s white fur looks buttery next to this snow.

He matches my pace though he’s old and more into smelling the roses these days

So to speak

Like me.


Look at us,

I tell him.

Ten days ago you had abdominal surgery

And two nights ago, I could barely stand on two legs

The body is more than matter.


Under nature’s spell

Given the right time and place

Incapacity is not a word,

And without a form

No longer exists.


Unthawed on commencement

I return with my jacket covered in ice

With all that ailed me released by silence and silvered trees.

I am unfrozen.





Filed under American culture, Healing, medical, meditation, nature, new age enlightenment, poetry, social commentary, yoga, yoga and blogging, yoga teaching, yoga therapy, yoga wisdom

6 responses to “Natural Medicine on Ice

  1. That’s beautiful Hilary. Thank you. Sorry I missed your call over the weekend. Was in the throw of community work and art work. Seems to be where I spend my time. I hope we can find a time for that lunch we never had in the not too distant future. I’m involved in three projects that culminate in the next 1 ½ weeks. Can we get together sometime after that? Glad you got some natural healing. Pat

    • Love to see you anytime… glad you are immersed in work you are passionate about. I got my paints out too. I think they are rusty and ruined from neglect. Now to see how I can use that to my advantage.

  2. We do give form to incapacity, don’t we, but I hadn’t thought of it until you said so. We invite it in and say, Okay, I’m going to drag you around with me for a while, and here’s what you’re going to look like – Mabel will be so jealous! We do some funny stuff, don’t we. It’s okay, though. We mean well. We’re just trying to take the dog out without fallin on our butt.

  3. Yes, we mean well. I think that too often that is not a good excuse though. I know I should demand more of myself but the fact is, I just can’t see the payoff as I’ve beat myself up for most of my life to do better and it hasn’t seemed to add up to much in the end. I never was good at future vision. Maybe the end is longer away than I think and the figures are still adding up. One can hope. 🙂

  4. sknott

    Absolutely beautiful, Hil. Loved this. My feelings expressed even if the hip hurts after ice hiking up hills!

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