I woke up early in the darkness of winter. I rested in bed while the cat purred and bumped her furry head against mine. The dog grunted obviously a bit perturbed at my moving to accommodate the cat. I had cleaned most of the house on Friday night, knowing that I wanted to enjoy the weekend just relaxing and doing what I love best, reading, sewing, making art, and of course an excursion into the woods.
I made a quick trip to an area north of the city where there are a large number of relatively new stores in long strip malls. It is kind of sad because a large old fashioned mall sits half empty and sad while these new stores literally take up a solid two mile section of an area that was once relatively free of concrete and asphalt. Humans are so destructive. Without regard.
On the way home I see a hawk winging down onto some prey and hear a snippet of Box of Rain, my favorite Grateful Dead song and I grin big. Another hawk sits on a branch watching the cars go by.
The lot of my park is nearly deserted, just two cars are there besides mine. We take off onto a side trail and the dog immediately starts to roll in the newly fallen snow. I am only about 500 yards in when I stop to breathe. It is beautiful and clear and despite the chilly breeze that cools the insides of my ears it feels warm, this exertion of my body in my smart wool layers. The long blue shadows of the trees are beautiful against the clean white snow. The contrast of the dark wood of the trees and the brilliant blue sky, I stop just to let my eyes take in the inspiring scene. The dog lets me pass him on the snowy slope and then he barrels past me full speed leaping and bounding with such delight I laugh aloud. I see my shadow on the snow and for a moment I think of a photo of my grandfather that all of my uncles and my mom have, the one where he is walking through the snow on Tug Hill.
I turn a corner and the dogs ears perk and he alerts me. I tell him to stay. A woman stands very still on her skis waiting. I tell her that I have him and to come ahead. A beautiful day for this isn’t it? I ask. She grins big and stops to talk to me, delighted as she said to meet someone who loves the snow. I laugh. It is hard to love the snow when all you do is shovel it and drive in it, I say. It is the woods I love best. But the snow, I guess I can live with it. She looks over my shoulder at the dog and laughing says, he really loves it anyway. Look at him just romping in it. As I walk away. I think love the snow? Is it possible? And yes. I think being out here in the woods, well dressed and warm with my red cheeks and the warmth of the sun on the top of my head; I can love the snow.