It was overcast on the way to Albany, but on the way back up into the mountains, the clouds cleared and the sunlight shone brightly across the hillsides. We had a few errands to do, but I stayed in the car dozing as the sun warmed the car interior through the windows. As we traveled from small town to town, I noticed an odd phenomena, that took me a while to figure out in my have sleep daze. Some of the tree branches looked wet and when the sunlight hit them, they gleamed. As we traveled up hills and down valleys, the gleaming quality of water soaked trees branches seemed to change intensity. Some areas had no shine, others areas the trees were almost to bright to look at. While sleepily gazing at a tree in a store parking lot, the bright sun beaming through its gleaming branches, I realized what I perceived as wetness was actually a silver coating of ice that was actually melting as the sun rose higher and the air warmed up above freezing. Higher elevations had thicker coatings of ice, but it must have accumulated slowly last night because the ice was completely transparent. As we traveled we were on the cusp of the freeze line. Some areas had ice and others did not, and at this point of the morning it was all melting. The sunlit ice was quickly disappearing into the dreamworld.
Decided to set up a puzzle today. Pulled out the folding table, picked a puzzle with fuzzy lines and bright colors, a water color painting titled “Waterfall At Sunset”. I put the table in the kitchen under the overhead lamp and sit in a straight back wooden chair this time, instead of my usual place sitting on the sofa with a reading lamp. The light in the kitchen is much better which makes up for the less comfortable seating arrangement. Of course, puzzle pieces attract cats, With Tiger Cat and Lily Cat, after the initial curiosity wore off, they went about their own aloof kitty cat business. Shadow Cat was not so easily deterred, however. She needs to be the center of attention; if you are not paying attention to her, she will put herself in the direct line of your attention. So, while I was leaning over, seriously contemplating puzzle pieces, suddenly there was a Little Black Cat, between my nose and the table. She chirrups and coos, then flops down on top of where I am working. She has an expression on her fuzzy little face of laughter, a shining light in her eyes of mischief, and the purr of love in her throat. Completely impossible to ignore. As she flops, pieces go skittering and flying, and her little black paws bat at them. I scold with s sing song voice, pick her up, nuzzle her close, and put her in my lap. Less than three minutes, she is back on the table. We go through variations of this game for half an hour before she settles in my lap content to take a quick nap. What would we do without our little kitty cat helpers?
Yeah!!!! I got to go back to work today! Two weeks since I broke my wrist. It was good to see everybody again, and they all love the fluorescent pink cast. I have to modify my actual job as I can not lift anything or manipulate the tools or skis with my left hand at all. I have the sling tight against my body and have taken many milligrams of ibuprofen. I am relegated to the helper instead of a rental tech. I don’t care, just getting out of the house and interacting with other people is a good place to be in right now. By the end of the day my wrist is throbbing and I am exhausted, but it is almost euphoric to be working again, even if only one day a week.
Windy, blustery, cold day, sun shining brightly, blindingly, but it radiates no warmth. The sky is a high, clear, cold, dusty, winter blue. The open fields are shades of washed out brown, broken corn stalks, icy furrows. Bare brown trees follow the field’s edge along a small frozen creek as black crows sit shivering in their branches watching cars drone by. Wisps of blowing snow swirl and twirl like giant gossamer curtains catching a summer breeze, then whip themselves violently up into the open space above the field as a wicked dust devil of snow. Individual ice crystals glinting in the sun like tiny daggers. What is left of the brown corn stalk and tall wetland grasses bend to the frozen earth under the onslaught of wind and cutting snow, the crows tuck their heads and wait for the angry wind to blow itself out. I am glad to be snug in the car, with the heater vent swishing warm air onto my face and hands while the heart of Winter beats wildly just the other side of a slim window.
As my husband is now driving me to Albany and back home every morning (until this cast comes off in two weeks), I have a lot of time to stare out the window at all the scenery. We stay off the interstate and keep to the smaller local and state roads. We travel through fields, forests, over hills, across creeks and wetlands, past farms, large country houses, old family homesteads, mobile homes, and abandoned ramshackle buildings. One area that caught my attention today, traveling in both directions, was a large, open, flat field. I guess it grew corn last summer as there are a few identifiable scattered brown and tattered stalks left standing in the furrowed rows. There is a tree line way back from the road, bare deciduous trees with dense leafless branches. On these branches were hundreds of crows. As we drove by, they took off from the trees in waves, individual bodies glistening darkest purest black in the bright sunlight, shining like liquid onyx against the blue sky and brown earth. They dove and soared, banked, turned, gliding to land in the field as others took off and continued the flying dance. The group looked like a living rippling curtain undulating over the landscape. It was fascinating to watch. Why have they congregated in this field? What wild abandon has them flying for the pure joy of it? What code are they following to choreograph this organized chaos of their flight dance? Their random swirling between the tree branches and the ground brings to mind computer generated pictures of fractals I have seen, and I wonder if this dance can be related to the Fibonacci Number Sequence. The flock of crows are still doing their airborne ballet as we slide down the next hill and I loose sight of the field.
Today is the first day of 30 radiation treatments. The course will take 6 weeks, and I should be done by March 15th. That seems like a long time from now. We now have to go to Albany every morning, an hour and a half drive from home, for a less than 15 minute appointment. So it is… With my husband driving this morning, while cruising along the Bataviakill valley, the sky is dark, cold, and cloudy. The mountains are a darker blue grey against the struggling morning light. Suddenly, the sun breaks through a hole in the cloud cover, a blinding orange fire ball streaming yellow sun beams beneath the clouds and over the side of the mountain, illuminating he snow covered fields in glorious triumph. I see stray snowflakes floating through the air, gleaming in the morning sunlight. I feel as if the super charged sunlight has pierced the armor around my soul and is letting the glorious morning sun song fill me with hope and love. As the car travels around a long wide turn, the angle of sight lines shift, and the sun sinks behind the clouds again. So goes a sunrise over stormy mountains. I am warmed and content, because the sun also rises, and I know Spring will be here soon.
Having been up so late last night, I slept late this morning. I have been restlessly sleeping on the futon downstairs where I can spread out and prop my arm up on pillows to keep from causing myself piercing pain when moving my arm in my sleep. After my husband gets up, I drag myself to the bedroom for a couple more hours of slumber. The bed is a lot more comfortable than the futon. Although the cats think it is grand fun to have me sleeping downstairs in front of the wood stove. They borrow and nestle into my warm body heat trapping sleeping bags. Whenever I roll over they artfully reposition themselves to drape gracefully over my legs and feet. So this morning, when I finally groggily joined the land of wakefulness, the sun was up over the top of the hill behind the house, shining brightly through the window, bouncing blinding silver light off the glaring white snow streaming into my glistening eyes. I yearn for long warm summer days and head downstairs. Sitting at the table in the kitchen gazing out the front window, I see an impossible brightest bluest sky there ever was. Crystalline clear and infinite. The steep wooded hill across the hollow is snow covered almost vibrating in its brightness. The black bare trees seem to glow as well, finely etched in stark contrast against the snow and at the top of the hill, the impossible blue sky. This scene is breath taking in its intensity, I sit and marvel at the world outside the window.