There is something to be said for racing down a hillside as fast as gravity will carry you, legs churning and lungs burning; and there is something even bigger to be said about running down that hillside as fast as can be, in the snow.
It’s the slow burn of the steady resistance that the knee-deep snow creates against the muscles in your legs and knobby footing of your boots. It’s the way the snow feels as it gets kicked up in your erratic gallop, smothering the atmosphere in glitter and snow dust.
It’s the joy you get from allowing yourself to fall out of control, even for a moment, as you slip and slide down the snowy field, a giggling shriek emanating from deep within your chest.
And when you’re finally at the bottom, collapsing to the ground into a pile of cold cotton and feeling the effervescent spray coat your face as the glittery dust cascades back to Earth.
Yes, there is definitely something to be said.
Happiest dogs in the whole, wide world.
You are looking mighty fine!
I was hopeful, that after almost a full year as a mountain pup, Mayhem would grow into a dog who is at least tolerant of the cold. Alas, that does not seem to be the case and tolerance does not seem to be in Miss May’s vocabulary.
So long as the temperature is above freezing and it’s not actively raining or snowing, thereby mussing up her stripes, Mayhem enjoys romping through the snow; running at full speed and launching herself off of snow banks into piles of the fluffy white stuff. But the minute her head gets wet or her little paws get chilled, her romping quickly evolves into pitiful howls and shivers that wrack her body with their tremors.
This morning, with the temperature sitting at a crisp 4°, May flat out refused to go outside; opting instead to remain snuggled up with her bone by the fire.
She is a diva, I tell ya.
Three years ago the cycles of the moon were far from the top of my mind. What, with streetlights, headlights, traffic lights, the lights at Wrigley, or even the lights shining out of my neighbor’s kitchen window, my bustling city was alive with color and light 24 hours a day.
Several days a week I went for morning runs, oftentimes up an hour before the sun made its lengthy climb to the top of the sky. And though the sun had yet to rise, I never concerned myself with anything more than the reflectors on my shoes and running vests, as I knew that the headlights on the cabs whizzing down the darkened street would make me glow, announcing my presence to their drivers.
Up here in the High Country, where power outages are bi-monthly occurrences and streetlights are nearly unheard-of, the cycles of the moon play an integral part in our daily lives.
On evenings where the New Moon is nestled deep in the night sky, it is as though the moon has extinguished all that is left of the shadows of the day. It buries the Earth’s surface in a blanket of darkness so thick it feels as though you are swimming through an ocean of black, unable to see but a few feet in front of you, feeling your way down the street lead only by your sense of touch and your sense of smell. On nights like this, the stars are on full display, drawing your gaze upwards to witness them dance and twinkle their way across the indigo sky, a trail of star-dust left in their wake.
The darkness of the New Moon is followed by the light of the Full. Where the New Moon extinguishes the shadows left by the day, the Full Moon creates shadows of its own, reflecting on and bouncing off of anything that intercepts its rays. The Full Moon enshrouds the mighty peaks in a glowing cape of yellow light, reflecting off of the snow and illuminating the clouds. On nights like these, I lay in bed and bathe in the soft glow of the moon settling in above my window; letting it wrap me in a gentle embrace, caressing and soothing as I am lulled to sleep.
It seemed darker than usual this morning when the tinny song of my shrill alarm announced the start of the day. Even Mayhem hadn’t stirred from her cozy slumber, tucked into her kennel among layers of fleece and down.
I lugged myself out of bed and roused May while layering up, anticipating the frigid temperatures that punctuate Fall mornings in the High Country. We had yet to wake up to snow, but most mornings we found that our windshields had been decorated by a diligent Jack Frost, dancing his way over the cold, hard glass.
As we made our way downstairs, I glanced out the window and noticed fat, white flakes drifting down from the heavens, settling nicely into the crevices between the pine needles of the Lodgepoles that line our yard. Layering our deck in what looked like inches of cold, soft, cotton fluff.
It’s funny, how quiet the world gets when it snows.
It’s as if every breeze, every bit of trickling water, all of the traffic noises, and life’s silly little worries hush and settle in under thick blankets to watch the flakes fall, creating contrasts between warm and cold and black and white.