Sure, it’s not sticking to the ground yet, (it’s about 40 degrees out there) but soft, fat snowflakes are falling from the autumn night sky, building up on branches and leaves, roofs and fenceposts. Finny McCool is snugged between my calves, radiating heat beneath the thick comforter that covers both of us, and PIB is purring, tucked meatloaf-style into my side. The woodstove is crackling and glowing. I’m warm. Outside, it’s snowing.
If you’ve read Rheumablog for very long, you already know I’m a sucker for snow. I look forward to the first snowfall of each season and then to all the rest that come as autumn becomes winter and winter becomes early spring. I love the clean whiteness of new snow. I love the way it transforms the outside world into an intricately simple contrast of light and dark, and how it makes me grateful that I can be cozy and indoors. I love the soft quiet of snow, and how if it snows long enough to form an inches-thick blanket, it silences the continuous roar of traffic on the freeway a quarter-mile down the mountain from my house. When snow makes the world silent, it brings a curious peace to my heart. This, I think, is how the mountains are supposed to sound in winter. This is how they sounded a hundred years ago; five hundred years ago; five thousand years ago.
Last summer, Mr. Wren found cross-country skis for both of us through Freecycle. All we need are the proper footwear and warm outerwear to go with them, and we can ski this winter. I love cross-country skiing. I haven’t done it since I was in Germany, when I skied the Harz Mountains, but I feel confident that I can do it again if I start out slow and easy and build up strength over time. It’s a good motivation to take wee Finny out walking again and re-strengthen the muscles in my legs and hips. Bursitis and rheumatoid arthritis be damned. I skied in spite of severe, active rheuma-flares in Germany. I’m older now, and less fit than I was then, but I know I can do it again. Will I hurt afterward? Probably, but it will be worth it.
It’s inevitable that there will be times that I’ll get tired of snow before the winter ends. Usually, it happens when I’m forced to drive somewhere on snowy, slick, icy roads, or when I have to shovel a half ton of the stuff just to get to the woodpile. I only grumble a little, though. I like snow.
This is a La Nina winter, which usually means it will be a long, wet one. Last time we had a La Nina, we had a lot of snow, and it brought us snowstorms from November to May. It was unreal. Will it be that way this time? I don’t know, but I say “bring it on.”