be recovered in identical form. We live in the world, but we have to cultivate enough awareness to allow the present beauty of the world to seep through the blinders of our existence and also live in us.

All around you are patterns - patterns in the rocks, patterns in the hillsides, patterns in the woods - dark on light, which could easily serve as bedeviled images if turned into a jigsaw puzzle. Still, they are wonder-filled visions that only appear at winter’s doorstep.

Do you think this season of frigid darkness is a time to wait? Think again. Our world is adorned in beauty. There is a balance in nature - cold and warm, light and dark - and no

When snow finally arrives, it brings sharp contrast. Colors pop, and the red doors of the local church are an excellent example of this. Often competing for attention, the trio of doors seem to leap out at you when surrounded by a blanket of white.

Above is a photo taken along Homestead Road in Oldwick. It was late afternoon, during that brief time of magical light, when I captured this image. I’m willing to bet that many people outside of our region would never guess the location. Iowa? New Hampshire? No…it’s New Jersey!

We are fortunate enough to live in the midst of the Black and Lamington Rivers, a single waterway whose name changes depending on the county though which it is flows. When this scenic watercourse freezes, take a moment to appreciate the artwork that nature produces in the crusts of ice that form on its surface and those of its tributaries. There are thousands of different, fanciful images that can spring from our imaginations if we take the time to notice.

celebrating a sense of place

Stillness. Stillness cloaks the land this time of year. The whole world seems to be waiting. Waiting for the thaw. Waiting for light. Waiting for longer days. Waiting to get out of doors. Waiting for that scent of life newly sprung from the ground. In fact, we wait so much while we fortify ourselves against the stark, silent days of winter that we run the risk of missing the beauty that life lays at our feet during this brittle season. With this in mind, let me take you on a journey to show you some of the visions of enchantment that surround us at this time of year.

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Moving Toward Equinox

 Article and Photos by Gordon Thomas Ward

Gordon Thomas Ward -

An author, singer-songwriter, presenter, and radio host. He has been a regular contributor to The Black River Journal for many years with his series of essays and photos titled Meanderings, which relate captivating, reflective views of the world around us. In the past, Gordon has worked as a ministry programs director, a teacher, and a teambuilding facilitator. His works aside from the The BRJ, include songs, books, speeches, articles, poetry, and a keen interest in researching ghosts and hauntings. Mr. Ward and his family reside in Pottersville, New Jersey. Tune in to Gordon's radio show, These Days, on WDVR 89.7 FM and, every Monday from 5:00-6:00 p.m., and learn more about him online at

singular aspect is any more worthwhile than the other. All are necessary and beautiful in their own right. As we look ahead, moving toward the vernal equinox, let us not forget the beauty that surrounds us now. If we overlook it or discount it as not worthy of our attention, we are allowing vast portions of precious time and the transient beauty within our lives to slip by unnoticed, never to

Unpaved, country roads

take on a whimsical quality

after a newly fallen snow.

One might easily imagine

having fallen into a storybook

when walking on them. If you

catch it early, often the only

sound you will hear is that of

your own footsteps.

​On certain winter evenings,

sunsets can make the heavens look like they are actually ablaze with the breath of dragons arching across the sky. Again, this coloration is momentary, so keep watch, or you’ll likely miss it.