My feet are rough, toenails are sharp. It is the time of skin rebelling all over. No light, no warmth nor moisture. The sheets suffer my rough skin. My fingertips catch minute snags on clothing, rough edges of skin toughened by carrying wood, wielding shovels and the sharp dryness of too much washing. I long to feel the warm earth between my fingers, to dig and plant and squelch the mud between my toes.
Today, I met a man whose finger tips were blackened by frostbite. His body was wracked by hard living. As he reached for the tasting cup I offered, his hands shook and he concentrated on gripping the fragile paper vessel. His wife was sweet and solicitous without being cloying or apologetic. His blackened, curled fingers didn’t stop him from reveling in the tastes. I imagined him perhaps was a logger or someone who had spent most of his life out in the elements. Winters can be cruel.
As dry as it is, there is water everywhere I look. The deep fluffy snow, the hard-packed slush that drips from the car, the icicles that threaten my doors and windows. With so much moisture, the air is crackling dry. Sparks fly when I pat the cat; pulling a sweater over my head creates a halo of static-filled hair. Where is the balance?
It’s strangely dark mid-day in the house. The skylights are shrouded in snow. The light beyond my windows is weak but brighter than inside. I would think the snow would bounce it back through the glass, but it seems to merely absorb it silently.
Somewhere between light and dark, moist and dry, there will be a balance in life as we climb the steep slope to spring…