Last night marked the first “real” snow since my return to this coast. (It snowed briefly some weeks ago, but didn’t last the hour on the ground.)
This wasn’t an epic snowfall, but a few inches of powdery seasonal blessings now adorn the area, with tufts of green poking out here and there like five-o’clock shadow, a reminder of the season we haven’t actually left yet.
I spent yesterday cooking for a sick family that has occasioned to provide hospitality to me in my comings-and-goings over the last month or so. I prepared ground Icelandic mutton (an alarming five or so pounds of it) for a massive stew (sort of Mexi-Norse in nature) and some ramtacos. Six or seven people (plus a raven) were fed, amidst a flurry of coughs and fever-fueled conversational dalliances. And then everybody went to sleep– and the night belonged to me. (Or, more appropriately and far more accurately, I as ever belonged wholly to the night.)
Out of doors and into street and into trees and a recently decimated space where trees once stood, soon to be some awful roadside development, I went. Booted feet became bare, leathered coat became hung from friendly branch and I sprinted (well, hobbled swiftly) through the prologue to the coming season.
My skin remembered the snow, and it seemed to remember me, and it caught nicely in my beard and my hair was wet on returning, and my feet cold and I stepped on something hard and frozen and stabby hidden from sight but that is okay.
This morning I woke up on a couch (thankfully sleeping indoors, given my wetted hair, which would have spelled doom for my own healthy outdoors for the eve) and made coffee for the same six or seven (minus the children who probably don’t need any more energy) and now I lend my (not obsolete) knowledge of technology to troubleshooting the home computer, whose operating system I will remove and replace with something less… Windows.
There is left-over lamb and I will prepare it and make one more meal for folks before I abscond from this place and head south, to pick up some animal transport kit and prepare for some Work.
My return to this coast was unexpected and therefore absent expectations, and the events that have unrolled and unfurled since touching down here have been similarly unpredictable. And yet each step, good or bad, communally warm or coldly solitary, has been accompanied by a knowing sense of home.
I am grateful for that, and humbled that the earth here saw fit to remember me, as well as the whitefall from the heavens.