Welcome to a contemplative view of the natural world. From this world, we gain our sustenance and renew our own spirits.  In the winter of dark nights and shorter days, I remember the joy of gliding freely over smooth black ice of local ponds, sometimes watching the full moon rise over the mountain.  The ice cracks as it expands, skaters leave graceful marks, and individual ice crystals glisten in the midday sun.  If you are lucky, you will hear the new thin ice sing as skaters make waves in the water underneath.  Living in the natural world, we can go down into the dark and then emerge into the light again, renewed.