On Winter

A friend asks me how I am doing, and I tell him, I am alright in living this small life. It feels very accurate to these days, this winter, this rotation. I tend to things like a field mouse. I make journeys no farther than upstairs. I orbit around this old wooden house, but I am alright in doing so. There is something holy about it. Something ancient and essential in the smallness of it. There is nothing and no one else and the narrowing of my focus carries a current that allows expansion. There is lightness in this burden because everything else is cast off.

I wake in the night even when he is asleep. I check to see the rise of his chest and the tilt of his head and I silently get a water from the bathroom faucet. We bought this house for many reasons but one was the icy deep well that pumps from the mountains behind us. I never drink a glass and forget to think about this, because it matters where we come from. I drink slowly and stand at the window, staring at the full moon casting mile long shadows across the snow. Here there are pine trees towering around the house and the lake is so empty, icy, and serene I can imagine it to be whatever I want. In the dead of night I can imagine a lot of things. Here, the snow covers the imperfections of everything, and glitters like cut glass under the moonlight. Here there is a quiet so intense I can feel it before I hear it.

I have the overwhelming notion I must constantly prepare for something that never arrives. The future is seen only through water or these frosted windows. I cannot quite make out who is there and who I am, and yet I know it will come for me, as it always does. This cocoon will not last forever. Perhaps this is what winter does to us, made more severe by the task of motherhood. The circling and prepping and stowing away. It is easy to forget there will be sun and warmth and company again, it is easiest to forget when it seems that we need it least or most.

image by Magdalena

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