One of the things I most love about blogging is “meeting” other bloggers around the world. It’s wonderful to see that the flowers are blooming in Scotland, or to momentarily mistake Paris for Marrakesh.
But this far-flung news can also be depressing. I live in Minnesota, you see. Tucked up against Canada — in the northern U.S. — there are parts of my state that are wild and beautiful. But there are other parts I can’t stand. Like winter, for instance.
Winter in Minnesota can be long, dark, and harsh. I was reminded of this fact last Thursday when it started to snow … again.
The wet, heavy slush made for difficult driving.
But that didn’t keep a few hardy souls from braving the weather.
By that evening, the front of my house looked like a Christmas card …
… and by Friday morning, the back lot was almost impassible.
Still, there was something compelling about the wintry landscape. I decided to take a break from my work and go for a quick mid-morning walk.
Of course, there’s no such thing as a “quick” walk after a heavy snowfall. Every step requires concentration and balance — and twice the usual effort.
But it’s so worth the effort! I love the stillness of the woods under a heavy, white down blanket. The noises of the city sound distant and remote, echos of an alternate reality.
Relieved of the need to listen, my attention instead turns to seeing. Among the twigs, my mind conjures the shapes of playful rabbits.
Amid the twigs, I also see the first signs of spring.
Even last fall’s leaves bear testament to the coming thaw.
But as I slog through the snow, spring still seems so conceptual — and so improbable. Until suddenly, my ears find their purpose again. It’s a Cedar Waxwing.
I add the diminutive presage to my mental tally. The robins have arrived, too …
… the Great Horned Owl is raising her young …
… my neighbors are leaving their car windows open …
… and a few random objects are starting to peek tentatively out of the snow.
Surely, the warm sunshine and green grass must be just around the corner?
I give it one more week: If the snow’s not gone by then, I’m moving to Morocco.