Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Snow Day-- Conclusion

After I had managed to answer the last phone call I grabbed my camera, hat and gloves and headed out the door. Grabbing up my walking stick I headed for the woods.

It was of course cold outside, it was still sleeting a little as I walked. I listened to the sound of the snow crunching under foot. Tasted the ice on my tongue as I walked. I do not like driving in ice and snow, but I do love walking in it. Seeing the changes it makes in the landscape as it falls. There is a special magic in snow. I've often said --as I'm sure others do-- that snow brings out the kid in us. But it brings about more. It brings a feeling of awe to the heart. How something so simple, can make such a difference. How snow falling can bring about on one side this feeling of dread, but on the other a feeling of giddiness and fun.

I walked down the hill, searching the landscape around me for signs of life. I walked, feeling the sleet striking my face. Entering the fence around the pond I gazed at the pond's frozen surface. I knew there was no way it was solid, it hadn't been that cold for that long. But there were some interesting patterns in the ice. Walking around the pond I watched as my booted feet sank down into the snow. Without trees to divert the snow or block its falling it was deeper. Crossing the bridge I carefully made my way around the pond, photographing things as I walked. I didn't tarry long, it was getting late and I had a fairly long walk ahead of me.

Making my way to the path I detoured over to the small creek that makes its way through the woods. It had cut a path through the snow, leaving a dark area marking its path. A couple of photos later I was back on the path and headed for the small field ahead of me. By now, snow was falling once again. I stopped in the center of the field and watched the snow fall, feeling it brush against my cheek as it fell. Melting on warm skin. Knowing time was short I didn't stand too long. I crossed the path and began to climb the hill. This part of my journey I was careful, I didn't want to be part way up the hill only to misstep and slide back down. At the half way point something caught my eye, a young tree barely above the snow. Taking a few photos, I finished climbing the hill and took my usual left.

Snow was falling more heavily as I walked. I veered off my path only once more, walking to see if I could spot a deer somewhere below along the creek. Seeing nothing but more snow I returned to the path and made my way on. Feeling the magic growing inside. Part of me wanted to play, part of me wanted to photograph everything, part of me was getting cold.

When I made it to the Dirt Road I started back for the house. The phone I carried had already rang several times with my husband calling me, wanting to make sure I was okay in my walk. Calling me again I told him I'd call him as soon as I got back to the house, it was getting dark, and it was getting colder. I noticed birds seeking water and food, attempting to draw close enough to photograph them I managed to get one before they disappeared into the woods.

The Dirt Road is special to me. For many it is just another dirt lane, graveled in a spot here or there, that leads to nowhere. Narrow it dead ends in the woods on the back side of the large power line that crosses it. Characteristics that cause me to like it that much more. Here I have found childhood adventure on bike and on foot. Here I have found healing from heartache and sickness. Here I find my quiet times when I walk. Here in the place, whether it is as now covered in snow, the greens of summer or the burst of colors in Autumn, I find beauty and peace. Listening to my footsteps and the sound of sleet falling I smiled even as I trembled in the growing awareness of just how cold it was getting. My thin gloves were not much help any more.

By now my flash had gone past warning me that the batteries were weak, it had totally given up. I was shooting with just the camera. I could hear the shutter as it worked, knowing that at times it was too slow to have gotten a good clear shot. Still I tried time and again as I walked, hoping for a few good ones.

When I finally entered the house I stepped into the kitchen to remove my ice covered boots. Slipping on my sneakers I set the camera down and walked over to make myself a cup of coffee. Looking out the window I watched in the fading light as my dogs played in the snow. I won't be building any snow people or forts. I have no plans for sledding or snowball fights. I have my photos, and unless we get a lot of ice from the drizzle that is falling outside I won't be taking many if any more photos of the snow. Where I work is closed on Tuesday, opening late on Wednesday, something that is pretty much unheard of where I work. But I'm glad, it isn't safe out there right now. Hot chocolate and brownies sounds a lot more fun than sliding around on an ice covered highway.

Its only January, there is plenty more of winter left. I imagine that there will be more snow days. I hope to get some photos from other areas around here but I won't risk my or other people's safety to get them. Who knows, I might even build that snow person or have that snowball fight then--

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