Biggest Snowflakes EVER

Biggest Snowflakes EVER


I step outside the bakery.
The flakes are wondrous.
Shops along Main Street empty of keepers and customers wanting to see.
All the kids are still in school so it’s just us grownups.
And even if you are as old as me, you can’t help but stick out your tongue, and effortlessly share in winter’s communion. The holy sacrament. Of snow.

Despite the magic, I decide that I better head home.
I drive slow out of town.
I approach a standstill at Route 9, the highway that leads to my mountain home.
I turn into the Chelsea Royal and attempt to assess the situation.
Is that a farm vehicle? A truck?
I turn around. I’ll take the back roads.

I stop for WIFI to share an update in on our community Facebook group, but the power is out at Dunkin Donuts, and at both the gas stations, they tell me.
A fire truck speeds by.
Must be a pole down.
Live wires, someone says.

I pass a vehicle in a snow bank, another in a ditch.
An ambulance speeds by.
A police car.

I stop at my dentist office, but it’s closed.
I stand outside the door and use the WIFI.

I take the road past Lilac Ridge Farm because its flat.
I stop for a photo. I pass Round Mountain, and use my mind to capture its majesty because I need traction now as Ames Hill Road begins to climb.

Cars without snow tires or studs or without steep slippery driveways like mine are pulled to the side of the road or stopped altogether in the middle or somewhere else, unintended.

I consider pulling into the Robb Family Farm myself, but all the spaces are taken. I remember the night of Irene, how this farm was the turning point, of no turning back, and how passing it, even months later, brought back the terror of that drive home. Of roads eaten away by water. Of a car, hanging in a ditch. Of trees strewn everywhere. Of boulders appearing where a dirt road was supposed to be.

One more turn up hill, and there are too many cars paused, and I become one of the casualties, and slide to the wrong side of the road, but still on it, and kind of out of the way.

Others speed by.
My heart swells with envy for AWD and especially trucks.
They resent me, and those like me, in the way.
Show offs!

I roll down my window.
I talk to a friendly guy named Jeff, heading to town, who offers to push me.

I don’t think that’s a good idea, I say, just as Jeff does a dance that takes him swiftly to the ground.

Other drivers stop to make similar suggestions.

I hand out my last Lake Champlain Valentine chocolates to each one–to my brother in law who was one of the cars I passed earlier, but then passed me after he put chains on his tires; and to my neighbor who volunteers with the Fire Department and who radios in about the condition of the road, and who helps spin my car downhill and temporarily into a driveway; and to the guy in the truck who later tells me, when I start to head back down to town, don’t do it, it’s worse that way now, cars allover the place.

And so I sit in my car on the side of the road, facing the right way now,
And hope no one hits me.
And change my mind about which seat is the safest, and whether or not I should wear a seat belt.

I have my laptop, but I’m too anxious to work.
I inventory my car’s contents.
I pick up trash.

I inventory my trunk’s contents.

I change my seat three times.

I regret my generosity with the chocolate, just a little bit.
There are no snacks in car, not even left behind on the floor or the seats. The kids are grown.
I have three blankets, and a flashlight. Nightfall is about an hour away.
A pair of gloves.
No hat!
I have water. I even have chai.
But I have to pee so I can’t have either.
I could pee outside. I have tissues.
The snow bank is too deep. The road too slippery. The house across the road empty.

Cars heading uphill slow to a trickle.
Cars downhill still at a standstill.
Then, wait, what’s that?

IS IT?

It is, IT IS!

A SANDER barrels by, spraying delicious, dark chocolate dirt across the road.
First, up
Then, down.

I wait until the road around me is completely empty, and then I climb over the stick shift, and into the driver’s seat. I back up. I spin around. I decide on heading up hill–the direction I was forced to abandon over an hour earlier.

I don’t see another soul. I climb out of Brattleboro, past the sheep farm and the apple orchard, and approach the line into Marlboro, neatly delineated where, to my dismay, chocolate ends, and vanilla begins again, and yet the familiarity lends comfort, even without traction.

As I crest the last climb, the snow suddenly stops, and the sun arrives, welcoming me home, or mocking all the dark drama down below.

I pass the cemetery. I pull over to take a photo of the sky passed Liz and Craig’s.
The road beneath my feet is slick.
My neighbor, the fireman, passes me by again.

I turn downhill onto MacArthur, the road which bears his name.
I drive even slower. Test my brakes.
Wave past his aunt’s house.

The world is milky white and silent and stunning.
I photograph his grandfather’s house from below.
I forget that John died just last month.

I approach my own land. I slow for a man with two dogs,
and then accelerate again to get up my driveway, but pass it when I find it overflowing.

How has so much snow fallen in such a short storm?

I continue down to Camp Neringa, turn around in the driveway, exhale when I don’t end up stuck or in a ditch.
Tuck my car on the side of the road.
Hike up to my house.
Look back at the narrow path of my boot prints.
Gather wood from the shed for the fire.
Light candles.
Sit in the dark as the sun goes down.
Hold a flashlight.
Wait for the power to go back on.

Wait for my husband and son to call…

Refuse to eat until they’re safely home.

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Dance Toward the Longest Night

Dance Toward the Longest Night

Returning to Southern Vermont at the end of October as your companion on the journey to the darkest night…

Kelly Salasin

Focus

It’s getting dark out.
The days are shrinking.
The nights are growing longer.
The time to cultivate the light is upon us.
Poetry. Laughter. Communion.
A resilient heart.
Silence. Prayer. Surrender.

It’s all there in the dance.

Each class delicately crafted through the chakra system to nourish body, mind & soul on the journey to the Longest Night.

Opening at the end of October when the dark of the moon is upon us
and continuing into December as the full moon lights our way to the Winter Solstice…

These 75+ minute gatherings for women are held in the community space
at Marlboro Elementary School on Route 9 in Marlboro VT.

Dance barefoot. Dress to move. Bring a mat (or blanket.)

Tuesdays 5:30 pm, October 25th through December 20th, 2016.

Instructor Kelly Salasin received her Let Your Yoga Dance certification at the Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health where she regularly…

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Summer reeling

Summer reeling

This year summer keeps on giving…

Two Owls Calling

I cannot tell if the day is ending, or the world, or if the secret of secrets is inside me again. ― Anna Akhmatova

IMG_0020

I want to tell you about something, but I’m not sure how.

It’s about summer’s passing.

It’s about the sun setting.

It’s about walking away from the beach, across the field, leaving summer behind.

It’s about feeling like summer is under my feet, reeling backward, faster and faster, with each step I take.

It’s about seeing my youth dragged along underneath it.

It’s about the sudden knowing that summer’s ending echoes my own.

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To whom. are we beautiful. as we go?

To whom. are we beautiful. as we go?

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“I wish I understood the beauty

in leaves falling. To whom
are we beautiful
as we go?
I lie in the field
still, absorbing the stars
and silently throwing off
their presence. Silently
I breathe and die
by turns.
He was ripe
and fell to the ground
from a bough
out where the wind
is free
of the branches

~David Ignatow

Farewell September, Welcome Autumn…

Farewell September, Welcome Autumn…


September 29

The grass is so green, it’s hard to imagine it any other way.

September 28

Last week it was like Where’s Waldo.
Today, it’s like heads in the back row.
Peeking through.
Soon to be center stage.

#red

September 18

the sound of an early rain on the leaves
the first breath of air through the trees
the union of self and sound and air and ease
without doors or windows or shoes or sleeves

#savoring

September 7th

August is the month that brought so much harvest into my life. My beloved, both of our sons, even these Green Mountains, upon which a soft rain falls, this first week of September–my grieving week–spinning a cocoon of communion–inside the arms of all those Goddesses of compassion–Mary, Tara, Kuan Yin–and all those who plumb the depths of what it is to be human.To love.To lose.To love again.

September 6th

best source of white twinkle lights?
indoor/outdoor
solar?

Late August

Maine is Vermont’s wilder cousin. I have one of those too. I adore her riveting company, but soon retreat to the familiarity of home where I romanticize her rough edges & salty sprays.

Mid-August

museums. movie theaters. malls.
blackberries. watermelon. cukes.
ponds. streams. seas. sprinklers. showers. ice. sweat.
left nostril breathing. curled tongue breathing. slow movements.
frozen treats.
rest.
spaciousness.

August morning

Wild berry scat
Path to the woods shower.

Early August

The older I get & the more I travel away from home, the more I realize what it is about this particular spot that suits me so well: S-p-a-c-i-o-u-s-n-e-s-s and the balancing embrace of the woods. The proximity of water. Still. Flowing. Fresh. Frozen. The rainfall. Lush. Moist. The shade. Secluded spaces. The tree to people ratio. The head space. The room to see and smell and feel.The light in the east and the south, the west and the north. Southern exposure, particularly come winter. Quiet. The call of the thrush. The hoot of the owl. The hush of snow.

Mid-July

oh, july! a night like summer.
cool shower under a rising moon.
bare bodies, even ours, fresh like dew.
the stone path, underfoot, still warm,
lit by lamps, fed by the sun.
the house, from the woods, aglow.

Early-July

It took me years to surrender. To allow and even welcome the sweltering heat. To know it as a gift. Fleeting in these mountain spaces so often filled with chill.

July morning

When I see a man
on his knees
in the garden
on a Sunday
morning…