A few inches of loose snow cover the snow all around our house. Beneath this lies rock-hard ice. Maybe someday I’ll live again in a world of shoveled sidewalks, but for now, our footing changes all through the winter and even well into the spring, when mud begins its 10,000 variations. I carried out this morning’s ashes and made a trail to that essential woodpile. A gray dusting of ashes covered a bucket of gleaming coals that hissed, burning down through the ice and snow.
Fire and ice. Why I love Vermont could fill many pages, or simply these three words. The contents of my hearth lie cast out on the frozen ground, dying, while jays cull my compost pile. The girls replenish our woodbox, readying for another night.
Life is, in its very essence and character, a terrible mystery—this whole business of living by killing and eating. But it is a childish attitude to say no to life with all its pain, to say that this is something that should not have been.
– Joseph Campbell