Jan 30 2013

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January Thaw

Posted at 12:44 pm under Blog Post

A five-day stint of subzero weather broke over the weekend with a little snowstorm. Then the wind picked up, blowing in unseasonably warm air. This morning, I couldn’t resist. After a short round of writing, I pulled on my hiking boots, put Matika in the car and headed for Aldis Hill.

The trail underfoot was half-frozen earth in places and soft mud in others. I knew it was going to be a messy walk but I didn’t care. I badly needed what John Burroughs once called, “Wordless intercourse with rude nature.” In other words, it was time to get out of the house.

The wind roared overhead, knocking dead limbs out of the trees. I tried not to think about climate change even though the ground was nearly clear of snow. This is the second big thaw we’ve seen this month, following the second significant cold snap. Crazy weather. Whatever. For an hour, I shrugged off the implications and simply enjoyed it.

Halfway up the hill, I took off my hat and gloves.  A little later I left the beaten path. Matika ran ahead of me until she found something to sniff, giving me time enough to catch up with her. Together we tramped aimlessly through the woods, grooving on the stark, wild beauty of it all. Soon we tagged a trail again, completing the loop back to the car. A large patch moss clinging to rock caught my eye. Its brilliant, lively hue made me think of spring even though I know better. I reveled in it. Green is green.

Back home again, it has taken me a while to clean up my dirty dog. No matter. I feel pretty good now, and will be able to focus better on my literary work because of that walk. I just hope I don’t start daydreaming about the coming warm season. It’s way too early for that.



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