The psychodogs take less than two minutes to relieve themselves before they beg to come back in. It’s still dark when I step outside. I catch my breath and imagine ice crystals forming around my lungs. I try to guess the temperature as the garage door creaks upward in protest. I slip my jacket sleeves over my palms to grasp the frozen steering wheel. (I hardly ever wear gloves when I drive because I just can’t get a grip.) The tires crunch in the driveway as I back out and back left and drive forward, plow through the wave of snow churned by the plow (that had also tossed the garbage can), turn right down our road and head west toward my daughter’s house.
The Journey putt-putts along, obviously wishing it was back in bed. Me, too. We turn right and surf through snow ridges, grateful we don’t have to slip and slide up a skating rink. We wait until the motion light flips on, and the grand girl appears between the walls of the path shoveled through the piled up snow mountain. She’s got her hood up over her head, but she seldom even wears a jacket.
The Journey’s warming up inside, but her outside temperature gauge creeps down, from zero to -1, -2, -3, -4. I thank her for her efficient heater and think about how my husband’s been talking about moving somewhere warmer–and then about folks who live and even thrive in places much colder than this. I remind myself that spring will come again and this is just a season.
I drop the grand girl off at school while it’s still dark and join the flow of traffic into town. I pull into Speedway to fill up and consider going inside for a a Krispy Kreme, glazed or jelly-filled. But I don’t. Then I stop at the bank to grab a little cash from the ATM inside the lobby. Someone’s perfume hangs in the air. I can’t identify the fragrance, but it makes me think about the White Shoulders I used to wear when I met my husband.
The darkness fades as I head home, and the snow moon suspends itself between shreds of gray in a pink sky. And is that star Jupiter? I’m feeling toasty and warm and glad I’m out of bed and not missing morning–a morning that demands to be memorialized.
I put the Journey back to bed and run inside for the camera, but dawn’s raw beauty can’t be fully captured with an artificial lens.
I stand still and exhale frozen breath in awe.
In the stillness,