Sunday, January 31, 2010

Snow Day

Today the sun is out, shining the crystal whiteness of the city.

After a day of eating, watching bad westerns, and being surround with the frozen water, I decided it was time to venture out.

There was no reason to lace up the boots and step out into the knee-deep powder. Stocks of food are plentiful, entertainment abundant, but the need for fresh air and sunshine compelled me to explore winter.

After feeding the yard critters, I strapped on my pack and trudged into the deep footsteps.

A few are out digging out their vehicles for the sliding necessary to open offices and stores with few calls or customers. Will we ever accept that this town is shut down until streets are passable for mom and pop to safely resume their daily chores?

The streets that are cleared are thick ice with a light white powder. I decide to take the safe yet slower path of stepping into the deep but firm footing on the edges.

A young woman guiding her little girl welcomes the beauty with me. A man, dressed for church, walks around the corner to the main road, to warm up his vehicle before loading his shivering offspring.

Sunshine convinces all it is warmer, but there are very few spots of melting. Yet the exercise, which would normally be a quick stroll, causes the body to perspire under the layers.

A two-mile hike takes two hours. I’m not in a hurry, actually noting the cold and the ice, took a very slow pace.

As I wander the streets, I wonder what the heck I am doing out here?

What would happen if I were to fall and break my hip?

Then my mind wondered to the thought of how long will I be able to do this? I’m not a young chicken now, but what will I do when it snows like this and I’m 80 years old? Would it would not be feasible or even possible for me stand knee deep in the cold, watch the yard bend to the weight, suck in the clear air, and listen to the wisp as fowl and flora as they struggle, the same as I, to get to Spring?

Before I slept last night under piles of blankets and comforters, warming my toes, cap on my head and my comfort knit around my neck, I thought of years gone by.

How did the pioneers survive in this weather? Sure, they burned wood (and I got plenty of wood) or climbed under piles of blankets (just like I did), and they did not have electric light or television or microwave popcorn or computer social networking while the snow falls, and yet they did survive. Maybe that is why the population grew so much, but even that body heat will subside.

Thinking back further, I imagine a medieval time of cold. Tapestry covered walls, huge fireplaces, long thick layers, and coal heated beds kept the upper tier tolerable to the weather, but what about the ones in the straw beds in drafty humble abodes?

I’ll survive this winter with a little more wisdom, appreciating the now and anticipating the future. Next winter will be just as cold, but I have learned from these experiences.

This is how we grow.

1 comment:

Art said...

This is one of the best segments that you have written, IMHO!!!