The beach even in winter

is still the beach,
still the sand,
and the gulls gliding low,
while a piper darts
along the curled edge of water —
too cold for wading,
too cold for swimming,
but for the stalwart few
enrobed in rubber
who persist in their passion
for riding waves.

After days of rain-slashed sodden skies
the sun lures people like me
desperate for a glimpse
of impending spring.
Mostly we sit in our cars
to avoid the brittle wind
leaving it to the dogs in their
fur coats with the owners
who love them enough
to walk with them, hunch-shouldered,
burrowing into their store-bought coats,
all of us looking ahead,
to warmer days.

 

The sound of falling snow

View from porch using iPhone & Hipstamatic app with Diego lens & Dixie film

I actually ventured outside while it was snowing for this shot.  Taken with my iPhone using the Hipstamatic app with Diego lens & Dixie film.

It begins as a whisper.

A few tiny flakes whirling and twirling. The Boy and I (back when he was a little-B boy) called them snow fairies. I don’t mind this kind of snow. The light hangs like a pale scrim softening the sky.  Eventally, the snow fairies become a pageant, the twirling, whirling becomes more boisterous, like happy children dancing, their wild hearts aflutter, while bubbles of laughter cling to their lips.

It is a glorious music, like the joyful tinkle of piano keys.

But it doesn’t last.  The cloud cover chases the scant light away.  Burlier snowflakes barge in like tipsy uncles with round cheeks tottering through a party.  They stumble and fall one on top of the other at a steady tick, blustering protest.  They are the noisy jokers who must be heard.  Splop. Plop.  “Out of the way.”  “Move aside.”  They shout at one another, still clumsy, falling this way and that.  Piling up.  Piling up.

And then, nothing.  They are asleep in their piles, dreaming, quietly breathing, dampening the sound of passing cars with their plump presence.

I have been watching the performance, and listening, trying to find something new, something a little creative in yet another bit of polar vortex melodrama. A meager attempt to bolster my already tenuous hold on sanity.  It’s kind of soothing to look at a snow storm this way.

Until it begins to rain.

P.S.  I did get some lovely pictures and a bit of fresh air, so there’s that.

Collecting details: In the bleak midwinter

Observing, collecting details as “glimmers of a beginning.”  A way of finding a story to tell.  That was the challenge this week.

in the bleak midwinter

Somewhere outside my window a machine hums incessantly for the second day in a row.  Its motor drones, the constant whirring sound punctuated by louder grinding noises.  Like a monster being fed, its appetite is ravenous.  It will not be sated.  My husband would be at the window checking to see where the sound is coming from, which neighbor has wood to chip this time of year.  But my husband is at work.  And I am too lazy, too disinterested to check out where Smaug is being used.  It doesn’t really matter in whose yard the machine/monster feeds.  Noise is noise.

Our yard has lots of trees and an overabundance of bittersweet.  The vine sidles up alongside the trees, curling a sinuous path out along limbs, growing thick and woody until it has strangled the life from the tree.  In the green of spring and summer it’s harder to notice the bittersweet in its sneaky trail below a layer of dirt, pushing through shrubs and other plantings.  We hack at it and pull it up, but it is incessant and wears us out.  Now, in the bleak midwinter, it is easy to see.  The vine coils around some of the trees, already thick as rope.

It’s the chill this time of year that I mistrust.  The trees stand like stark centurions behind the house, the only time I can see a sliver of the lake that lay beyond them.  The sky cracks like a sheet of glass.  Fingers feel fat and numb in no time in weather like this.  Why would anyone stand outside and feed wood to a machine?  I imagine how easily a monster like that could steal a finger or two.  There are no do-overs then.

A lawyer I know once defended a man who disposed of his wife with a wood chipper.  The lawyer is a kind man, softly rumpled, with hair just long enough to show a tendency to wave.  He wears sports coats and carries a leather brief case that looks like it was a gift when he graduated law school.  He has a fondness for Mark Twain, and reminds me of Atticus Finch.  I wonder what Atticus would make of a man who rid himself of his wife by such ugly means.  There is no nobility in defending such a person.  I expect the lawyer had his reasons.  He enjoys reading Twain, after all.

Spring buds. . . .

On a gloomy afternoon, there’s a knock at my door.  I recognize the sharp two-rap code that announces a package from UPS, followed by the soft thud of a box being set on the porch.  It’s so cold outside, I don’t even want to open the door.  I briefly entertain the idea of waiting until my husband gets home from work when he will see the package sitting outside and bring it in with him.  But I’m not expecting a package, and so I decide to brave the shrill rush of arctic air long enough to sate my curiosity.

It was worth it.  This is what the package contained: a cheery basket of spring bulbs.  Sent by a couple of friends who live somewhere much warmer than Rhode Island.  Buds from buds to their bud.

I’m so blessed!

P.S.  Curiosity doesn’t always kill the cat.

P.P.S.  Thank you to my generous buds for remembering my birthday in such a delightful way!

spring buds sig