All of my hopes of beating the snow out of New England are dismissed under two feet of the white stuff. With jobs going belly up across America I was cautious to leave the minuscule salary I have coming in for the few hours I offer assistance each weekend. Now it is too late to leave. There are times when we are in places that are less than desirable. The trick is to find the reason, the covert blessing even, if it is at all possible.
At zero degrees outside I wake up in the vintage airstream. Even with the furnace on low it is 32 degrees inside my twenty foot home; this in spite of the insulating drifts of snow. My blanket is frozen to the wall at the foot of my bed. As I heat water for coffee beans I've just ground I know I have to thaw the venting windows before I turn the furnace up higher or the fumes will...well, it wouldn't be good. "Should have gone with the tiny wood stove," I mumble to myself as I turn on the lap top that I'm certain will shiver and sputter for an hour or more before it'll think of writing.
Like Minnesota, and the walk before that, this too will lapse into memory. Sometimes that is enough of a foothold to stand on while we wait out a less than ideal situation. It will get warmer. The snow will recede. I will get west. The book will be completed. Guess the big delay is that 'the book' is still happening; the visiting bears, washing my crockery at the river beside my trailer in banks and boulders of snow, and contemplating on all that brought me to this forested island of Otis. I am as unplugged as a man can be...next to my prior life of 3 years in a tent. All the news I get here is still second hand and old. When power goes out for days into a week, little changes in my routine. The river still brings me water. I retire in curtained and unheated section of my silver trailer so no fumes can dispatch me in my sleep. Meals are simple wholesome quiet affairs spent alone or with a beeswax candle and a book I am in love with.
It is time to be where I am for this moment, and I am thankful for all that I have to be here, for in a unique way I am rich. I walk to visit friends that tell me their stories both lived and those kept as pet dreams. We eat and laugh without clocks watching. Once a week I buy a tall bottle of beer to carry home and nurse for three days in a hand blown glass with a white crow carved deep in the side. The bears have found their own slumber on the east side of the uprooted tree, or perhaps in the hollows where the boulders are raked together during Creation.
In a week it is New Year's. When we need time to think, ruminate, focus, and the world takes our wheels away along with all of the roads leading out, it is a perfect time to be thankful that we have been saved from ourselves. Of course I would love to be with you now, and caress a thousand other adventures, or sit beside a humble mountain fire and listen hard, no, harder...but then again, I would not be writing this down. No. I would not be writing down.