In the evenings, after chores and dinner, I walk the gravel roads. I like to walk without a headlamp, right down the center, let my eyes adjust and my feet find the way. There’s little traffic to worry about; two nights ago, I walked for over an hour, and did not see a single car. My usual route takes me to the very end of a dead end road, high on the hill above our land, where if it were daylight I could see across a shallow valley over to the town of Greensboro and the steely blue of Caspian Lake. Greensboro’s a nice town. It’s wealthier than this one, but not too wealthy. You could be poor there and not feel unwelcome.
There’s been little snow, and what there has been has come in fits and spurts. I’d prefer more, despite the extra work it brings. But there’s not much to be done about the weather except to lament and carry on, so like everyone else that’s what I do, and my old skis, the ones I use when the cover is thin and rocks lurk, still lean against the shed wall where I left them after my election day outing one whole month ago. Though despite the grey weather, despite the dim days and election angst and virus fatigue, it feels more recent than that. I remember when I was younger how time seemed to speed up and slow down; always fast when I most wanted it to be slow, and always slow when I most wanted it to be fast. It’s not like that anymore.
This morning I woke to moonlight shining through the window above our bed. It’s got cold again, and last night’s fit of snow has stuck. There’s maybe an inch on the ground. Looking through the kitchen window, up onto the knoll with the light coming on, I can just see the cows standing next to one another the way they always do. I know what they want. They’re wanting their hay. I’ll take it to them shortly.