Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Peace of Wild Things

I am the lone soul who loves all this snow.  I love walking to pick up my son from school and then crunching home in our heavy boots.  I love how all noise is muffled.  How in the first couple of hours after the snow falls, you go outside and it's so silent.  No birds, no cars, no planes.  Just the sound of the wind, and your own breath.

A couple of years ago, my sister gave me a bulky package for my birthday.  Inside were a pair of funny looking red snowshoes - vintage.  She squealed: "Don't you love them! They're used! I got 'em off ebay!" I thought she was crazy, but every time I use them, I am glad she had vision.

A few days ago, I had things on my mind.  Nothing new, really, but the kinds of stupid little things that we all worry about.  Small things on their own but they add up to a full brain.  I needed a little air.  I tucked a snowshoe under each arm and trudged up to Greenway Meadows.

There wasn't a soul there.  The sun was bright; the parking lot unplowed; not a footprint anywhere in sight. I strapped on my fancy red shoes, my gloves, my sassy furry hat and marched up the hill.  I went the long way round the fields, through the rough grass that refuses to be pressed down by even a foot of snow.  So quiet, except for my crunching of the snow. I felt myself breathe easier, the cold air stinging in my lungs, in a good way.

I found myself on Greenway's poetry path and stopped at nearly every one.  I walked with familiar friends: Dickinson, Flaubert, and Wendell Berry, who wrote the one below, entitled: "The Peace of Wild Things". (Forgive the photo quality - Blackberry...)

Berry's words reminded me that peace sometimes lies in wait, like the stars behind the day.  And sometimes, it lies up a hill, on a path, made by funny looking red shoes.

1 comment:

  1. You made a snow-phobic person like me think differently about the tundra that lies outside my door. I'm off to surf eBay for some snow shoes!