Monday, January 17, 2011

Channeling Hank

"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately... to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life...."  ~ Henry David Thoreau in Walden

There is a scent created by the sun warming pine boughs that cannot be replicated by those scientists who seek to offer you a car deodorizer. It is a true Nature bouquet that will make you John Denver high the first time you smell it after a long bout of severely cold temperatures.

One week ago, I took the attached photo. Today, very little of that snow is left, and I’m having a hard time staying indoors on this long weekend with temperatures in the 60’s for the first time since early November.

My daughter and I are like cats; we seek the warm spots. This morning, in a t-shirt and my flannel pajama bottoms, I walked outside to the sunspot on the road between my cabin and Eric’s, and simply stood with my back to the sun, feeling it warm me all the way to my bones. Doing so reminded me of the halcyon days when my grandchildren were tiny, my daughter lived with me, and we would head to the back yard or the front walkway in the first days of spring to find the sun patches where we would sit and drink tea and talk for hours.

The warmth this weekend is a gift, mercifully bestowed by our mother, Nature. On previous weekends, I have been in hibernation mode, reading books while wrapped in a blanket in front of the fire, trying to keep the blood in my feet circulating. While the idea of reading by the fire may sound romantic, it is not as pleasant as you might imagine when your nose and hands are freezing. (Another reason to love the Kindle; I can lay it on my lap and keep my hands under the blanket until I need to quickly press the button to turn the page.) Today, I ate lunch outside, as I often do in spring and summer, and later threw my hikers on and simply meandered around the loop, finally coming back past Rob’s house. As we stood and talked, Bob and Jean Walker drove up in their truck, and Bob regaled us with stories of the winter of 1969, when there was so much snow in our canyon “you could walk across it.” As we talked, we soaked in the liquid sunshine, listened to the stream gushing just below us, marveled at the volume of water in the falls, and were silently thankful for this blessed respite.

Oh, I have no delusions about an early spring; I know we will have more snow, and I will have more mornings of digging out before dawn. But I’m hoping if I write all this down, when those times come, I’ll have something to think about while I shovel.