From the perspective of my office window, the world is snowbound. Tree branches bow to earth and begin to break under the weight. Squirrels scamper across the surface in search of food, somehow knowing that movement is all that keeps them from sinking. White has erased every color but gray and green, and significantly muted those.
And the snow continues to fall.
It's just warm enough that the icicles on our eaves are drip, drip, dripping. Great clots of snow avalanche from fir branches, driven by some unseen combination of weight, heat and gravity. Change is coming.
We're far enough from town that it's easy to believe the whole world is this beautiful, isolated, whiteness. It's easy to believe that this will never end - that we'll be stuck here forever with no easy way out. It's easy to believe that nothing that mattered so much a week ago really matters at all.
But we got to town yesterday, with relative ease: Walt carefully driving our four-wheel-drive pick-up over packed snow ruts and barely thawed pavement, me sitting warm, cozy and carefree on the passenger side. Town, three miles away, was bustling.
The store was full of men pushing shopping carts as wives figured out what to substitute for the many things that were missing from shelves. Neighbors greeted each other heartily and happily, as though it had been an entire winter rather than days since they saw each other. The clerk who checked us out was more interested in telling us about her frozen shower drain and two feet of snow than she was in the looks of mild frustration from the several people in line behind us.
I think we could probably get to town again today if we needed or wanted to. My brother is sure he can make the drive south from Tacoma late this afternoon. The mailman drove up to our door with a package just a bit ago.
Yet there is a part of me that isn't quite ready to release the quiet, no-expectation peace of these last few days. I like the rhythm of days centered around Toby's exercise and playtime, cats' needs for lap time, and hour upon hour here at my computer doing what makes my heart laugh and dance. I like choosing, guilt-free, to sit and read until the book is done (or to sit and do nothing at all). I like enjoying Walt's gentle, comfortable presence.
And that leaves me with this question: Why do I need to be snowbound to give myself, guilt and anxiety free, those gifts?
photo by Walt Shucka