The world returns to white.
The view out my window is soft and heavy and wet and white. I slip on my boots and down jacket and head out to feed the horses. The boots I thought were retired for the season, now brimming with snow, deep snow, dampening my jeans because the boots aren’t high enough snow.
Ten. That’s how many Mays I’ve been here. Ten. And I’d never seen snow like this in May. “Back in the day,” my husband tells me. And even then, he says, snow like this was a crazy thing. You just never know. The mountain is mightier than we are. The best we can do is work with what we she gives us. She gives us plenty. And this spring, that’s plenty of snow.
It’s crazy, alright. The robins are perched on the fence post looking down at the white ground and wondering what went wrong. The chickens hide under the shelter of their coop and can’t figure out what cruel joke was played on them this year, just when they started laying regularly again. And Norman, dear Norman, the new guy – his training continues in spite of the snow. Perhaps he’ll learn to pull a sleigh before he has to pull a slip and plow.
Ten Mays. I came and said I’d stay a while. Now it’s been a while. Some days, it feels like too long. We were ready to leave long ago. A friend wrote yesterday, “How do you like your new mountain and your new ranch?” He can’t believe I am still here. I can’t either.
Ten Mays and still it is not mine. I knew it never would be. Not because of the elements, the elevation, not even the snow. Those things are in way mine. I know them, feel them, am with them intimately. Those things we can work with. It’s something more. Deeper. A connection. Was it severed, or did it never grow?
A land that is both a mirage and memory for most.
I seek something fuller and richer and deeper than that. Hands immersed in warm soil, toes buried in sand. Seeds scattered, roots spreading. A connection. A place to live and die and toil. I’m not looking for a place to get away but to remain.
It seems so simple. Basic. A good place to start. Funny it should take me so long to find.
And so, where will my mornings find me, with what view out my window in the lightening sky as I sit here and write you?
Ah, the view before me. White and muted behind the veil of falling snow. I have been glad to be here, am gladder still to leave.
I’m not big on retrospect, too often filled with sadness or anger. Let it go. I’ve seen too many hold onto a lifetime of resentment, hurting themselves most of all. A bitter pill swallowed every day.
I’d rather take my chances, spit it out, and see what lies ahead. Or right now, for that matter, because now is a wonderful time too. A time of change.
Change. To where? Where am I going? What will I be doing? What adventures are we creating?
For now, our hands are full, tied. Tied to mops and window cleaners, to reins and driving lines, hammers, saws and moving boxes.
And that’s just the beginning. But I guess that’s enough for now.
2 thoughts on “Inside looking out”
I thought I was doing bad getting out of here .Ive only been trying 2 years .Like you I want to be some place I can feel is my place to be for the rest of my life .I dont have that much left . On your snow my sister has snow on there ranch this morning .Good luck with all your projects .Like ditch camp .Sounds fun ???
Isn’t it strange how long it can take to realise what one is looking for? A couple of days ago I stumbled upon T S Eliot’s words:
We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
The exploration, I think, is to discover oneself. When one knows who one is – truly and deeply knows – then one can begin to find the right soil in which to plant deep lasting roots.
It’s a long trail. To traverse it one must be in parts pioneer, explorer, lover, observer and survivor – and, I suspect, a little bit of the ascetic and the holy fool too.