Thursday, December 3, 2009

Fire & Ice

There is snow in the forecast. I never put much faith in the snow forecasts, though. Historically, when snow is called for around here, folks run to the market in a frenzy, only to have little more than a flake or two to show for all their panicking. My mom and grandmother, however, usually get snow, if it's called for. They're at a slightly higher elevation, about an hour north of here, and if they say snow is coming, then snow is coming. 

Nonetheless, Glenn and I opted to "make hay while the sun shines," as it were, and stack the firewood we've been meaning to get to since it was unceremoniously dumped in a pile by our delivery person two weeks ago. After that, we had to wash the dogs, who'd decided that their devotion to whatever scent in the woods their nose was pulling them towards was greater than their devotion to me. They came back reeking of something foul and had to have an outdoor winter bath, which is their absolute least favorite thing. It took me some time afterwards to convince Dexter that we were still friends. 

Glenn then loped off some branches on the white birch and holly tree that were either blocking other trees' growth or venturing dangerously close to the power line. 

Simple things, but things that I find enormously gratifying. My friend Jenna, of Cold Antler Farm and Made From Scratch fame, is having a tough go of it this week at her place in Vermont. Seems an ill-informed and quick-to-judge neighbor decided she wasn't taking care of her livestock properly and meddled in Jenna's affairs, prompting her landlord to order the eviction of several of her beloved pets. It breaks my heart to know she's grieving, trying to find good homes for her furry friends. If anyone loves their animals with full, unyielding devotion, it's Jenna. 

Her struggle has made me all that more thankful for having a home of my own. It's full of challenges (most recently, I discovered several leaks in the ceiling over the stove, caused by a wayward old chimney flute, which allowed water to drip into the attic, over the stove, and into the basement), but it's ours. No one tells us to manage our animals differently or landscape a certain way. There are no noisy neighbors above, no car alarms waking us late at night-nothing, really, except for what must be an enormous owl in the woods, making its presence known with an arresting "HOOT" and legions of squirrels and birds, scurrying along the leaf-drenched forest floor. 

Our life out here is simple and quiet. It is characterized by rituals of feeding, cleaning, eating, reading, sipping, dozing, writing, and more. I'm never bored, never really have been in my life, that I recall. Sure, I get restless sometimes, and need to mix and mingle with the greater world. But this quiet life suits me. It's stillness echoes deeply inside, reassuring me, nurturing me, calming me. 

Maybe we'll get some snow after all. And that will be just fine. 


Julia said...

Well put. I like simple and quiet, too.

nicole said...

Your post reminded me of the beauty in the stillness and calm of Winter's impending arrival. Not my favorite time of the year to put things mildly, but there is something to be cherished in all of the quiet.

Toni aka irishlas said...

I'm sure you're very thankful for your peace and quiet...winter around here (actually any season) tends to bring out noisy vehicles, much to our dismay.
I must say that Jenna at Cold Antler farm had touched a spot in many of us.
Thanks for your wonderful blog (which I was linked through Cold Antler). Enjoy your snow if you get it.