"It's as if a great bird lives inside the stone of our days and since no sculptor can free it, it has to wait for the elements to wear us down, till it is free to fly." Mark Nepo

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


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


Jerri said...

May you give yourself these gifts again and again through the New Year.

Merry Christmas, Deb. I love you.

Angie Ledbetter said...

Hard to shed the work ethic sometimes. Glad you've had some peace and serenity. More in the new year!

FrecklesandDeb said...

I've enjoyed and appreciated my snowbound time as well. I understand what you're feeling. But, I completed a huge writing task during this uninterrupted time and am feeling free! At least, until my mother-in-law came to stay last night :-)

You and Walt and Toby and the cat gang have a very Merry Holiday!

kario said...


I am thrilled by the beauty of it all. I have yet to tire of watching the flakes fall past the windows all day long. I am absolutely loving the peace and family time we're having here.

Let's make a pact to remind each other to take more "snow days" in 2009.


Carrie Wilson Link said...

hmmmm.... yes, that's the challenge, to take this time, not wait for this kind of time.

M said...

Reading your words helped me to simply slow down...and enjoy. Your home is as beautiful as your words...and I'm glad I'm here. My heartfelt wishes for a Happy and successful New Year where you will break free from all that holds you captive and you publish your words for all to see.


Your bro