Solitary – 1/7/2022
Even though winter has set in I still try to get in an afternoon walk, just to get some fresh air. Some days, like today, the air is really fresh, helped by a stiff westerly wind that was cold enough to numb my cheeks as I walked into it. There is nothing fickle about winter, so I was confident that the wind would blow out of that direction the rest of the afternoon. The walk would get warmer when I turned for home.
I crossed the county road and walked past the big wetland area. Just weeks ago, the marsh area was alive with geese and mallards and even flocks of diving ducks that settled in here for a rest rather than out on the open water of the Bay where it had probably been too rough to allow for good sleeping in between flights south.
Now everything is still and silent, except when a wind gust rattles through the high stiff marsh grass. The muskrat house is locked in the ice and covered with snow. The almost ever-present steel gray clouds ride that west wind in search of tomorrow’s sunrise.
Winter is a solitary season. The quiet invites contemplation without distraction. It is a time for deep thinking. Prayer can be especially fruitful as we slow down. It is a good time to be alone with yourself and see what makes you comfortable and what does not.
One would think that the marsh is lifeless without any sight of wing or note of song. The blanket of snow that covers the marsh is mostly undisturbed. From my vantage point I can see just one single set of tracks where a fox passed by the muskrat den, probably the night before.
On the western edge of the horizon, the clouds have broken just enough to let through the last slanting rays of the sinking sun. There is a brief burst of golden light but the clouds quickly swallow it again.
My tingling fingers inspire me to turn homeward. I was right – it is better with the wind to my back.