It’s just after 7 a.m. here and I’m back from a walk around the park across the street. In the snow. When I slid the shade up this morning, I saw the snow sky and knew I had to go out in it. For maybe the first time this season, I felt a jolt of the old, familiar winter energy that usually begins to grip me when the temperatures drop below 50. I bundled myself up, took my coffee mug and stepped out into the muffled magic that is a snowy morning.
It snowed on Thursday, too, but with the weather swings we have here, that was all gone yesterday except for shady patches and on the north sides of buildings. Now the small flakes fell, dusting my black hoodie and clinging to my dark blue sweats and black fuzzy snow boots. I’m sure I looked like a large blob circumnavigating the park, but it was pretty obvious that no one else was up other than a few travelers on the highway, so who cared? Not me. Even the sounds of the vehicles rushing along the road were muffled. That’s what I love about snow; it quiets everything down.
Walking to the far end of the park, I faced South and only had a few flakes falling on my face and the front of me. I loved the sound my feet made in the light covering over the grass, that particular squeaky sound made only by stepping on fresh powdery snow. I stopped at the far end and looked west to the mountains that were barely visible in the distance and the busy boulevard that comes off the highway, neon lights bright against the dull, gray sky. There’s a large field that separates the edge of the park from that road, about 40 acres, and I remember vaguely that when I first moved here nearly 20 years ago, it was a drive-in movie theater. Now, huge banks of tumbleweeds crunch between the line of trees separating park from field and help support the crumbling barbed-wire fence. I’ve seen fox in that field, know it’s probably rampant with mice and other critters, and once released a lovely little garden snake there to save it from the edge of G’s shovel. Occasionally deer will move through. We are at the last exit of town, with not much between us and New Mexico. It’s all soft and magic as the snow falls.
When I turn North to head back along the side of the park just bordering the highway, the snow picks up and it’s directly in my face. The flakes are tiny, though, and instead of stinging, each one that hits my skin is like a soft, chilly butterfly kiss, the gentle brush of some magic creature’s lashes against my cheek. They make me smile even as they turn the front of my black jacket white. I whisper, “Thank you” into the wind. I feel lighter somehow, blessed. Nature is always the best medicine for any malaise and these quiet moments are a double dose. Remember this, I tell myself. Remember to go outside, no matter the weather.
The flakes are still falling as I write this. From my window high in the wall, I can see the drifting snow against the dark pines, see the large Christmas balls that G hung from the pergola and the the copper cover of the finch feeder hanging in the peach tree turning white under its winter kiss. All too soon, it’ll be time for me to go to work, but the magic of this morning will linger a while. I feel it.