Saturday, January 23, 2016

Ushering in the Storm

After tuning in to early morning scenes of Winter Storm Justin making it's way up the east coast, and after helping Kerri decide to cancel the winter women's retreat day we had planned, I bundle up and head out for a walk before snow overspreads the land!

Outside the air is still but for a flock of ravens making a ruckus in the treetops.  Not one snowflake, for all the fuss.  When I was a kid in upstate NY, three to six inches of snow fell without comment.

It is remarkable that it's the 23rd of January and we have yet to accumulate any snow. I'm wearing long johns under my sweats, ski socks with toe warmers, sweatshirt, jacket, headband, gloves and a scarf wound up to my chin.

Quiet Saturday morning.  Paul went for coffee and then off to a budget workshop with the rest of the council and the board of ed.  Oh, how I do not miss those days.

The muted colors of winter seem more precious with the knowing they'll soon be under cover of snow. Gnarled bark, laced with silvery lichen; tarnished coppery leaves littering the ground around the massive oaks.  The trees themselves, with their arms outstretched, awaiting the snowfall. Do they know, like the ravens, that snow is coming?  Can they tell from the pallor of the sky?

The evergreens are fatigue-green; some have a blue cast.  The grass is a rolling collage of faded green, earthy brown, and pale yellow.  The only shot of color is a lone basketball left out on the soccer field; it looks like a leftover pumpkin the distance.  And here's someone's (loud) bright red snow-blower, warming up for later use.

I feel the tiny flakes on my cheeks before I can see them.   I have to look very carefully -- they're scarce, random.  Materializing before my eyes and disappearing in an instant like micro shooting stars.

When I arrive at the pond there's no speculating about ice -- it's frozen solid.  A pearl gray sheet from shore to shore.  A wind-swept dusting of snow looks like a sheer curtain being pulled ashore by some playful winter sprite.

I stay for awhile on the dock, grateful to be outside in January in sneakers.  I breathe in the cold fresh air and let it work it's head-clearing magic.  I let the hush settle around and within me.  I wonder about the turtles, swans, and geese -- all the waterfowl that live here -- and imagine them burrowed in somewhere as I'll soon be, sipping tea in my long johns, typing the sentences that  are composing themselves in my head.  A whole day unexpectedly open.  Life is good.

Back on the street there's a tableau of evergreens that bring the finely blowing snow into focus.  It seems the storm is arriving on schedule.  I'm blessed to usher it in.

Stay warm and safe!

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  1. Hi Julie, you have a very nice blog. Thank you so much for sharing, and warm greetings from Montreal, Canada.


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