Before dawn, Charlie and Suzi woke me, like children, excited by the snow covering the front field outside the window. As soon as it was light, I went down into the basement for my cross country skis – first time use this year. They watched me put on my boots. There had fallen, overnight, a few inches. It was raining, though. I didn’t want to miss my chance to ski, so we were off into the slushiness. It was slow. And as I left the trails around our property I noticed I was feeling, inexplicably, a little anxious. It wasn’t pleasant, it was wet, and I kept feeling something heavy in the air behind me. From the branches the wet snow slipped and plopped on the trail behind me. Finally, I just stopped in the woods and decided to turn around. And as I skied back the temperature dropped and the rain started to needle my face, but the cold made the snow less wet, more swift, and by the time I got back to our own trails I was getting a good glide, so I stayed out cutting a trail for later.
It wasn’t exactly a writing day. It was a reading day, the poems and prose of the participants in an online course I’m leading - How Pictures Heal – and digging in to the writing with comments (not critiques) and insights and questions, felt warm and friendly and satisfying, the writing was all very interesting and moving from the personal photos. Two afternoons of this weekend spent so pleasantly digesting and experiencing fresh writing from thoughtful people. To stretch, at dusk, I put the skis back on, and there was more snow, cold snow, and it had stopped raining. There was no moon and thick clouds, but the snow held the day’s weak light, and I followed all the trails I had cut earlier and appreciated the peace and quiet and the bracing air. Brushing past the branches of pines, green needles of ice.