Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Boots and Bare Feet

There is something that I love about being solidly in the winter months.

Past is the anxiety about the coming cold, the lists of unfinished work, all the things we could have done but did not do. It is a new year full of dreams, and potential, and things yet to come.

It is dark enough at 6:30 in the morning to see the earth's shadow cover the moon. Ivory glaces upward, takes in the moment, and crawls back into bed. Sylvan looks up and keeps looking. The cold creeps between bathrobes, and coats, and boots on bare feet as we stand looking at the sky.

The early morning darkness gradually becomes lighter, the afternoons noticeably longer.

Winter is an excuse to hunker down, to bend our heads close, sip warmth and gradually put the pieces together.

Puddles form and ice sheets get smashed while waiting for the school bus.

The surface of the road slowly appears and disappears on my walk to work.
It snows, and it seems that every snow could be the last.

I no longer attempt to have Sylvan's birthday at our house, the space too small to hold so many people and the bedroom floor too bouncy to host a hoard of seven year old boys. The weather is too unpredictable.

Last year's attempt to go sledding at Lolo Pass was thwarted by an unseasonable thaw that left the septic field flooded and our plan bathroom-less. Sylvan's disappointment of a failed birthday lingered all year and was finally replaced as we zoomed down water slides shrieking and laughing.

We swish, swish, swish in the parallel tracks set along the edge of the trail as we glide along the creek. The sun shines and brief gusts of wind blow the snow off of trees and swirl it around. We move steadily in one direction until the timer in my pocket vibrates, we turn around, and glide downward. I follow behind Ivory and Sylvan, but I see the reflection of their joy on every face that passes them.

I get up in the dark. 

Spots on the floor are so cold they make the soles of my feet hurt, and I scurry around for my house shoes. I steal a few moments for myself; to stretch, to read, to carve a mug or more, to waste time, to curl up under a blanket alone and knit a few rows, to dream, and to embrace winter.