Winter View

comments: 98



















Oh, this sun. This view. The golden light that hovers low and sharp. The layers of blue that dissolve beyond the valley into dark mist. The scrabble of brown grasses and dried out flowers and broken brush. The paths that roll up and down and away. A hawk floating silently high above, circling and slow. The dark, inky green that the trees become from up here. Small curls of smoke rising from small houses in the valley. I picture wildflowers and tall grasses in spring, how the ancient orchard will begin to froth with the first frosty green. Soon, but not now. Now it is just a wicked tangle of blackish sticks, brittle in the sunlight. It's the layers of subtle color that I love, winter layers, dull and smoky. Caramel, evergreen, peach, midnight, olive, mustard, dove. Even in the warm sunlight there's a haze of gray. She picks up handfuls of small stones and wobbles, staggering too quickly down the path. There are so many things to pick up, mind racing faster than filly legs. Her hands are filled and she squats again, deciding what to trade for what. This rock for that rock. This rock for that. Wobble wobble. I want to walk forever, to get to every hill and dale, and look back, and over there, and that way. Turn in a circle: The mountain. The valley. That mountain. The city. The sun gets lower. Sinking behind the trees. I love it there, and rarely see it anymore — first winter I can remember in seventeen years where I've seen winter sunsets. A lady marches past us and looks vaguely behind her, in the direction I'm looking, and says, "What are you looking at?" I say, "The sun," and she says, "Oh, I thought I was missing something," and marches on. He throws me a smile and I giggle back. We're going down, down, in the shade of the side of the hill now. Amelia is quiet and sleepy, soft and round and warm. I blow on her nose to warm it. She reviews all the parts of my face: Nose. Mouth. Eye. Eye. Teeth. Forehead. Hair. Ear. Earring. Other earring. First earring. Nose. Her tiny, warm fingertip on my nose. Eskimo kiss in the cold. I want to build us a little camp, a lean-to made of gray wood with a cot and a nest of comforters, build a campfire to toast a little hot dog, and marshmallows to melt into hot chocolate. We'd watch the sun go all the way down, and see the moon come up over the trees. There would be stars then, frozen and twinkling in the winter-black sky. You'd see them through the cloud of your warm breath lit by firelight, fogging the darkness.

Mt. Hood and Mt. St. Helens from Powell Butte, 1/25/14.


Girl your words are breathtaking, sitting at my desk I just floated into Oregon. Loving the photo of Mom & Mimi, Thank You for making my stressful day at work alot less stressful.

You weave with such lyricism, these glimpses into your days. I am there too, witnessing the play of shadow and light as their secrets are revealed. Thank you for these bits of poetry and the friendly images that tell so much.

Marguerite says: January 28, 2014 at 09:55 AM

Such a lovely grace in your words.
This morning, for the first time, my little neighbor (born 11/12) was propped up over the back of their sofa (dad safely behind) peering out their huge picture window which looks into our back yard. I let our dog out and we caught eyes. She just stared at me -- don't I know you? I smiled. I waved. SHE waved! and giggled. Perfect moment!
Isn't life just wonderful?
Thank you for giving us your precious moments.

Your words formed a new quilt in my mind.
Colors and comfort pieced together with your vivid, loving descriptions.
I think, too, this makes a picture book, a favorite story of winter, to visit again, and again. You have painted such a lovely view, I could not march away from this imagery… it's tangibly close and something too good to miss.

I read manuscripts all day long. I read your blog and then I go back to reading manuscripts filled with the magic of what words do and should do.

You make my heart lighter and my day brighter.

I did the same with my girls..every little part of their faces..and then with my grandsons..
I love how you bring back so many memories for me..
Her wrinkled nose is the many expressions's a treat to watch her grow~
You are a lovely little family:)
Keep noticing everything~ Always~

We have had more sun this year-I love it! There was a wonderful English children's show called 'Old Bear and Friends'. We used to watch it on Canadian tv when we lived in Michigan and my son was little. It is charming and gentle and based on lovely books that you should look at for Amelia. Look on YouTube for Old Bear and Friends-The Winter Picnic. It might be my favorite episode ever. The author is Jane Hissey. Her illustrations and stories are fabulous.

Mindi Chuning says: January 28, 2014 at 10:14 AM

Where do you get Amelia's clothes? Do you make them all? She is always dressed adorably! I love seeing what she is wearing in every post!

I've been following you for a while now. I just love reading your words. Have you ever thought about writing children's books? In my opinion, there's a future for you there. Think about it. Include your Bunny and Deer and all your other wonderful animals you create as characters in your book. Oh what fun adventures they could have. But I bet you've already thought of this!!

Linda in Waterloo says: January 28, 2014 at 10:24 AM

Andy cannot stop smiling! Sweet picture of you and your girl sharing secrets. Thank you!

I always look forward to your blog posts. They are many things but most importantly they are warm, heartfelt and hopeful.

Jean x

*sigh* you've left me no words. you've used them all so brilliantly. i adore the look on amelia's face in 'hike 11'. such trust. it's nice to see your face in there as well. thank you for another lovely and thought-provoking post. oh, and that woman? sorry, lady, YES, you DID miss something. unobservant at best.

Just wanted you to know that my family took our vacation in Portland this past summer because of your blog. We all loved the area and these pictures bring it all back. For this family from the suburbs of Chicago to see Mt Hood and Mt St Helens was so amazing. And every time I see your pics of the waterfall, I'm brought right back there. We had lunch in the lodge and so enjoyed our time in Portland. My college age kids loved it too!

connie in milwaukee says: January 28, 2014 at 10:57 AM

the images you paint with words - just beautiful --

Everytime I read your post I am filled with joy that little Amelia has you both as parents! What an amazing world to have placed her with two people who have so much love and appreciation for her. It warms my heart and reminds me to slow down and not take my little ones for granted. :-)

Have you thought of writing a book of poetry? Or something of that kind, to capture your mental and emotional images.

glorious! love. love. love! xoxo

I'm with Roxanne,and Lisa G.....I,too,have been following your blog for a while,I especially love the colours in your photos...and your girl!..but what really struck me about this post was the beauty of your words,and I wonder if you write poetry,or have thought about a book....I want to read it if/when you do!

Thank You...I love seeing a photograph of you and your daughter...C

Well, that was just beautiful. Thank you.

If you do publicise your work, poetic prose (like yours) is so much nicer than poetry. It has more resonance and ironically a lot more poetic meaning in most instances. There are many things you do, could yet choose to do and you always do them well. Reading your blog is a real pleasure.

Thank you for your words . I felt like I was reading a page out of a lovely book, I wanted more!

Utterly beautiful Alicia. I love the winterscapes, especially viewed from high up. That mountain takes my breath away, it's stunning. The picture of you both together is enchanting. How she clearly adores you. There is nothing quite as uplifting as a walk in the countryside. I feel as though I've been there too, just for a moment. Thank you.

Oh my, so beautiful. Your pictures and your words. More pictures of you and your little Beauty please. Even if you don't publish many of them, make sure you have many of them taken. I have so few of them as I was the family documenter. Be there in them <3

oh my goodness the beauty in your words is magical. please please please write these little trip memories down for that sweet muff. the way she pats your face reminds me of the little poem my kids loved when they did that to me..."eye-winker, tom-tinker, nose-smeller, mouth-eater, chin-chopper...gitchie gitchie goo!"

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About Alicia Paulson


My name is Alicia Paulson
and I love to make things. I live with my husband and daughter in Portland, Oregon, and design sewing, embroidery, knitting, and crochet patterns. See more about me at




Since August of 2011 I've been using a Canon EOS 60D with an EF 18-200mm kit lens and an EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro lens.