Ahead of the storm, it was so still and cold that the first inhale you take outside has the shine and consistency of mercury. Whatever animals catch your attention first – the birds, the horses, and rabbits – get their food and the activity moves the cold to your skin and then out of you altogether.
We awoke this morning to the magical change that only 25cm of snow all over everything in the landscape can bring. Now the air is snapping with wind, wrapping snow dervishes in the fields, and trailing off the eaves like falling bolts of voile.
Dress for it and dig yourself out, that’s all there is to do, and having achieved a neighbor’s house for a cup of coffee, you both set out to liberate a third, a newbie surprised by the sudden drifts, and so begins the holiday season with good cheer and sweat.
Once the snow is turned aside, I break out the cross-country skies for the first time and disappear into the snowy woods for a meditation on silence. In the wan December light, an old black and white camera would do as well as a color, excepting the noir-green of the fir branches. The powder is hard traveling, my legs unused to it, and I turn out onto the pond for the downwind slide to home, Quan, and tea.