Sunday, January 31, 2010


the snow is a pepper white, its surface firm and crusted, lifting and dropping in subtle shapes atop the frozen water beneath. white mountains ring the vista, set off by the blue backdrop of the cloudless section of southern sky. trees poke through the snow, and a ribbon of asphalt freeway snakes far below on the canyon's belly, but here it is calm and quiet, and cold, just as a winter day in late january should be.
I don't know what's happening beneath the frozen surface of the reservoir.
I can assume the water is thick with cold, sluggish, a world in slow motion. water molecules move more slowly, fish live in a state of semi-hibernation. life continues, but in a different way than it does during the warmer months of the year.
the surface belies what lies beneath, and could convince us, if we didn't know better, that the entire world beneath lies dormant and deathlike.

I rode outside yesterday, shocking myself with my desire and vigor.
piling all my cold-weather gear on, from full booties to skull cap, I set off up the road. up the side of the hill, up through the golf course, past the zoo, past the dog park to the mouth of emigration.
keeping expectations low, I promised myself I could turn back at any time. that I needn't push, that just to be out was a big enough move for the day.
I needed this. I needed to be out, needed to suck in fresh air and shiver with cold. I needed to be in the natural world, needed to see my breath and connect with the reality of it all: the earth, the snowbanks, the denuded trees, the salt stains on the road and the tracks of skinny tires that have persisted regardless of the season.

little dell and I have a lot in common. biking buddy bob the other day said that I wasn't looking quite as numb as I'd looked there for a while, and while this is likely true, there is still much of me that is cold, cold and slow. and like a frozen reservoir, there is still activity within, it's just of a different state than usual. and just as I said about little dell, I don't know exactly what's going on underneath the frozen surface.
things are moving, separating and rejoining and forming different connections. regrouping, reassembling, possibly finding newness, commitment, focus.
but it's slow, moving in that semi-hibernation speed, which can't be hurried.
cycles revolve, motion pushes us forward, the world keeps slowly spinning and we cannot truly stop until we breathe our last breath. whatever is happening within will take place on its own schedule.
I am the shell that holds this process from spilling over, I am the thick, frozen surface that protects the depths below.

one day, not so far away, the gradual rotation of our earth will bring us to warmer days and thawing ice, more quickly moving molecules and an awakening of a more vigorous life.
this I know.

No comments: