Sunday, November 6, 2011
Observations on the first snowy weekend of the season
Breathing in icy, pine-scented air cleans your lungs of all the particulates left behind by dirty air. Or at least it feels like it.
It’s easier to walk the loop in low-top sneakers in dry conditions than it is to walk it in high-top snow boots through slush and snow.
No matter how long you put off going outside to bring in firewood, it will always—always—start snowing harder once you finally put your boots on and go outside. And the minute you finish the chore, the snow will let up.
Walking through the forest when it is enshrouded in cloud still reminds me, after all these years, of the book I read as a child, in which a young girl is visited by magic ponies that appear—in colors of pale blue and green and lavender—only when there is heavy fog. I still look for them just beyond the trees.
Apparently my body is made of rubber. Yesterday I took one step down my front stone steps and slipped on the ice, falling onto my back against the steps. My first thought was, ‘I wonder if my back is broken.’ I sat on the steps until I could take an inventory of all my parts, then got up. My neck is a bit stiff today, and my left hip hurts. But I think I’m fine. Amazing, given how hard I fell. Maybe it’s that (almost) daily yoga that keeps me flexible enough to bounce. Does that mean if I keep doing it I’ll still be flexible in twenty years, when I’m almost 80?
The secret reason—and please don’t tell anyone—the secret reason I love walking in a snowfall is that it makes me feel like I live in a snow globe. It’s quiet and peaceful and safe, immured inside the bubble, with only the tiny flakes falling. In that state of being, I can pretend I live in a world where banks don’t steal houses, psychopaths don’t rise to power and commit genocide, people don’t steal children, and there are no earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes or wildfires. Just peace.