A Winter’s Walk
We had a good amount of snow during the last half of December, a couple of inches or so falling every day to keep the landscape, including roads and walks, covered with a fresh, light blanket. One morning I grabbed my camera to record the snow on my front garden… after putting on long underwear under my cords, a sweatshirt over my long-sleeved tee, a fiber-filled jacket, scarf, hat & hood, light gloves, and my warmest shoes. Sigh.
The mid-morning sun was hanging low in the south-east sky casting very long navy shadows over the diamond-dust-studded snow. It was so cold —- so cold it was hard to feel any warmth from the sun on my face as I closed my eyes and faced it head-on. My nose is always the first get cold, just before my entire exposed face feels the bite. This was a still day without even a whiff of moving air so the extreme cold didn’t feel as threatening, as dangerous.
I decided to start down the drive towards the snow-covered road, mindful that walking on snow in a 73 year old body is dangerous. For stability I used that unique walk that is used, that is learned early in life, when walking on slippery surfaces. It took my total focus as I gingerly made my way down the declining slope of our drive, my senses only focused on my orientation to the ground and the sound of my steps as they crunched the lightly layered flakes of snow. When I stopped at the bottom to congratulate myself on my progress (it really is a relatively short distance) I took time to listen hard. I listened to the hushed silence that comes with cold and snow, only to hear the occasional muted sounds of tires squeaking over snow-packed roads.
The extreme cold results in a dry snow, the type of snow that is loosely bound together. Not a good snow for making snowmen or snowballs – for building snow walls to crouch behind in a serious snowball fight. On this day I was happy to experience these through my memories, but I felt the excited pull to do a little walking in the neighborhood. I don’t think the neighbor’s carved bear climbing the trunk of an old oak tree shared my excitement with the snow.
I didn’t walk far as I felt the cold seep through my clothes, making the muscles around my titanium knees stiffen, but what joy I experienced as I viewed the unique sites of the winter landscape.
I have lived through winters for so many years so my excitement surprises me when diamond dust starts floating in the air. I stand silent and watch, alone in the silence. My attempt to capture a digital image is fruitless… maybe there are some things that we need to enjoy in the moment without trying to make them ours.
Winter is a wonderful place to visit – but be sure to bring lots of layers of clothes. I’ll furnish the hot chocolate.
Or you can visit vicariously.