This is a road that leads back to my cottage. There is black ice under the new, thin coating of snow and the tire tracks are mine. One set made when I had to get to the store, the other set made when I came back. (Thank goodness for my old, but really sturdy, 4 wheel drive). This time of year, almost the end of Winter, almost the beginning of Spring, is an in-between time when people seem drawn to stay by their own hearth-sides. We who live up here year-round, as I do, cherish this time of year. It's a time of solitude, a time of freedom from flatlanders rushing to the ski resorts (except on the weekends), and the accidents they cause because they don't know how to drive in the snow, and freedom from their rush to the lakes in the Summer and their frenetic, frenzied, city energy that seems to suffuse the air when they're up here. (Don't get me wrong; we mountain folk depend on their money to keep our economy going, and the word "flatlander" is in no way derogatory. It just denotes that they live down where it's flat).
The frantic, beloved, whirl of the holiday season is well past and I revel in the silence, watching the birds that come to the feeders, listening to the muted voice of the wind singing through snow-laden branches, loving the crunch of my boots in the snow during a walk in the woods around my cottage. Soon the slow pace of this time of year will quicken, so, for now, I am grateful for the silence and the solitude.
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