Mid-January has been an ice-box, and I’ve got cabin fever, a symptom of which is crankyness, another, the resolute inability to see the world I live in, despite its beauty, as the winter wonderland it really is. If in mid-November we'd had the snow-cover we do now, I would have been struck dumb, and out daily with the camera. Today, three months into winter and two weeks of temps so cold you have to thaw out chunks of steam to know what you were saying--after all that cold and all that snow, I'm tired of it, as most are, I'm sure.
Right now, all one can do is dream. Wednesday, shoveling back the latest couple inches of snow, I got a jolt of joy just imagining that somewhere beneath that foot-high bank at the edge of the sidewalks, a couple of itchy spears of grass were checking their own calendars. Last night, walking back from school late at night, the temp was -15; this morning, on my way to work out, it was +10, maybe even a balmy 12. Felt like seventy, I swear.
There's a long haul of school ahead, more writing work than I can shake a pen at. Buried as I am beneath all this cold and snow and work, right now the only sweet releif is to dream.
It's the end of January, and, I'm going to assert that we're probably. . .therefore. . .maybe. . .well. . .over the hump—knock on wood. For certain, I can say this: until, once winter's prison doors are flung wide open--and that will happen--my frosty heart is warmed by the image of quiet dusk on a Minnesota lake, late June, walleyes biting. And if they aren't biting, that's okay too.
Up in the cabin on the hill, my wife is curled up on the couch, shorn of responsibility, reading some book she loves. Soon enough, I'll dock the boat, hike up there, make her a s'more--maybe two, the lowly sounds of the loons behind us from the open windows. That kind of night. Who knows?--maybe we'll light a bit of our own early summer cabin fever.
Late January, from here on the edge of the Plains, that dreamy narrative--this mid-winter, basemented morning--is a delight for which I can give great thanks.