Yesterday brought the perfect quiet of a snow.
Quiet, for the immediate response of so many to retreat indoors and leave our usually busy world much less so.
And perfect in the fact that getting out into it was, on this day, my choice.
So, stepping out from beneath warm covers, into my favorite wool socks, I gathered my things—which no longer fit easily into one sack, but three! And set off for a day at the Nature Center—laptop, camera, binoculars, cell phone, water bottle and a hurriedly packed lunch piled beside me on the seat. Hiking boots, hints of both mittens and gloves protruding from the side pockets of a large, dark jacket, and a knit hat, carefully chosen to be large enough to hide a small cat, but, on this day, just an unruly ponytail, added to the picture of one arriving and intending to stay for more than just a few hours.
This would be my place for the day.
For the better part of it, I, too, stayed warm and working—at a small table in a windowed room, while a smoky fire reluctantly gave way to flames and soft, plinking music drifted in from the gift shop next door. But after taming my mid-day appetite with a peanut butter sandwich and a darling Clementine, I gathered my gear, resituated it on the seat of the car and wrapped myself for the cold.
The trails so often filled with walkers, were empty. The lake, steel gray, with six ducks near the shore. Through the trees, the path wound and rolled past empty benches, filled on warmer days.
And I pushed faster, hoping warmth would find its way to my chilling fingertips.
In the field beyond, the little log house so out of time with all else, on this day seemed timeless. In the openness, flakes poured down from a white sky above and swirled into gray haze before resting on the grasses. In the center of it all, I stood and looked up into the stream. And wondered if this quiet, this solitude we avoid, the times when all life’s distractions are left on the seat of our cars, isn’t the perfect balm for a 21st century life.
See more Skywatch here.