Halfway through the middle of January, halfway through a school year.
With the bottoms of doors we don’t use in winter dampened shut with rolled rugs to stave out the drafts, and the curtains drawn tight every night against the cold glass, the back entryway filled with firewood, the living room floor strewn with bark chips, the winter (despite the little snow) is hammered solidly against our house. While the children are visiting grandparents this weekend, I’m determined to press through my own inside work piled unevenly on my desk, the couch, a chair beside the wood stove. Much of that is good news – my book is heading towards a second printing – and the winter is a steady time to work.
But yet this is the time of year I lust for those humid summer nights, the windows open, the tree frogs singing. On our dirt road this afternoon, my daughter, driving, nearly stopped the car when a flock of wild turkeys clambered out of the apple trees and surrounded us, running beside us with their skinny legs and awkward bodies. She was frustrated, wanting to hurry home and go for a run.
I unrolled the window and leaned out of the rolling car, my arm outstretched for the nearest bird, the breeze cold and hard in my face.
She started laughing. What are you doing?
Catching dinner. Steer a little to the right, will you? I nearly have this one.
Ides of January. Time to mix it up a little. Lots of winter left.
Black are my steps on silver sod;
Thick blows my frosty breath abroad;
And tree and house, and hill and lake,
Are frosted like a wedding cake.
– Robert Louis Stevenson