Friday, December 10, 2010


I live in the mountains of Colorado. During long cold winters I dream of being a snowbird. Buried under an afghan I conjure up warm Caribbean waters, gardens pungent with citrus, sleeveless cotton shirts, bare toes...  
Monday night our first snowfall confirmed what I’d been dreading. Winter had arrived. The outside light illuminated every frigging flake that dropped from sky and splatted on the deck. I paced the living room, sulking and feeling claustrophobic. Tomorrow the roads would be too slippery for driving, the air too cold for walking, wah wah wah.
The next morning the dogs were patiently waiting for our morning hike so I put on my boots, jacket, neck scarf, gloves and hat, and out we went. My two feet trudged along the dirt road while the dogs pranced on all four paws. They snuffled the snow, paused to pee, then joyfully zigzagged from smell to smell. Slivered prisms winked on the crust of snow. 
I almost smiled. 
Grudgingly admitted it was kind of pretty.
We continued on, me walking, the dogs running and leaping. The road curved and the landscape changed from open field to tunneled forest. The path stretched out before me. Pine trees cast slate blue shadows across the snow; overhead a crow flapped his wings. My mind unfurled, empting niggles of tin and brass onto the wayside The woods are lovely, dark, and deep, leaving room for wondering, do frogs hibernate, what would it be like to have a tail, is my soul locked inside my chest or does it float around from knees to neck to  elbow, or is it like a net, everywhere at once, if I could see it, what would it look like But I have promises to keep
So we looped around to the back of the field. This time I made a full stop to admire the rainbowed prisms sprinkled over the snow. 
By the time I arrived home, the grump was gone. For a while. I haven’t given up my dream of being a snowbird, but as long as I’m here, might as well chill.
So how do you all cope with winter?

A deep bow to Walt Whitman for Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening