Driving through a snow shower, along a state highway, following a wide, shallow, fast flowing large creek/small river, winding through mountains along the valley floor. The sun breaks through cold grey lazy clouds shining down with dazzling sliver sunlight. The flurry of flakes disappears and the mountains are strong solid majestic and in shadow. Monochromatic dark blue to black, snow covered, layered rock ledges, bare trees, and evergreens. The mountain top is cirque like, convex, creating the shadow that covers it down to the valley floor. Swirling, blowing, boiling clouds of snowflakes shroud the ridge, translucent, vaporous. The lavender grey squall line clearly visible as it engulfs the darker mountain top, roiling along the ridge line out of sight behind me.
Riding in the passenger seat motoring down the mountain on a state highway, one side of the road a steep rocky and tree covered cliff up out of sight, the other side a opens out onto a deep wide bowl valley. We are headed to friend’s house for dinner, heading north east, sun behind us somewhere obscured by the mountain, shadows thickening into darkness. Through the leafless tree branches that whiz by at 55 miles per hour, I get a quick glimpse of the thinnest sliver of a crescent moon shining silver in an indigo sky, all that’s left of the laughing disappeared Cheshire Cat. One star glimmers above the moon, shimmering in perfect harmony with the darkening expanse, last rays of sunshine fading behind the earth. I crane my neck, twisting in my seat against the seat belt, to have another vision of this glowing sliver moon and glistening sliver star before they are hidden from view as we glide around another curve headed down into the valley.
Indulgence! One caffeine free Pepsi, one bag of Garden of Eatin’ Red Hot Blues (made with non GMO organic blue corn), one toasty glowing fire in the wood stove, four sleeping cats, one lap-top computer sitting, of all places, in my lap, and all the time in the world at my fingertips! Life is good on this frosty, frigid, overcast, snowy winter morning in our little cabin in the mountains!
Slowly backing into the icy snow lumped driveway in the dark, I look over at the day lily garden that surrounds a drainage trench in the front yard. There are a couple of metal wire (tomato) circle stands haphazardly leaning where I never bothered to remove them from the flower bed last fall. They look neglected and dejected, reminders of dead plants in a cold dark season. The snow has completely covered the mulch and dead leaves of last summer’s lilies, smoothed over the evidence of winters harsh killing frost. The snow itself is frozen over solid on top, ice blanket covering the earth. In my mind’s eye I see this bed in full bloom in July and August, lilies standing taller then me and covered in tubular flowers bigger than my head. A smile crosses my face as I realize the sleeping potential of rebirth laying in wait beneath this frozen landscape. Hibernating, resting, saving up its energy, waiting patiently for next spring.
Swirling snowflakes, light, fluffy, flitting, flurrying, drifting around on minuscule air currents. Bright sunshine pouring down from the open bright pale expanse of sky, setting each flake ablaze with silver white sparkling frozen fire. Glistening, and glittering snowflakes from nowhere, takes my breath away.
Lounging on the sofa, drowsy and daydreaming, warm fire and a softly snoring large cat sprawled on the back of the couch behind my head. Deceptively warm yellow sunlight shines through a window, sun low just above the horizon. A drifting light catches my attention, drawing my eyes to the wall across the room, many tiny bright concise rainbows swing back and forth across the area, thrown by the late afternoon sunshine hitting the prisms hanging on the porch for this mesmerizing yet short lived effect. Fill the house with delicate spinning rainbows and its hard not to smile.
Crunch, crunch, crunch, crunch, 10 people tromping, stomping, through the icy crusty snow, up a tree covered hill in a single file line. Snowshoes making teeth marks, ski poles making holes as we push ourselves through the bare forest up the narrow bike path. Heart pounding, breathing heavy, head sweaty, feeling overheated even though the temperature is less than 20 degrees Fahrenheit We are following the top of the ridge line, looking down the back side of the mountain through the leafless ash and maple trees. My house is somewhere down there in that valley, but I know its hidden by a hill. Up we climb, dragging, puffing, crunching, up, up, some more up. Steps slow as legs tire, arms work harder with the poles to pull ourselves up. We break through the tree line at the top to an open flat area on top of the world. The view is spectacular. Mountains all around, topped with golden sunlight shimmering from the setting sun. Valley in purple shadow, snow tinted blue, dark roads snake through the town below, windows glowing warmly, tiny figures moving far below. The climb was completely worth every step!