After a night of snow that came down with swirling winds and inky dark skies, I got up this morning and walked to the window both bracing myself and hoping for snow to be on the ground. Snow. I love it. I decided yesterday that I would be stupid to ever move anywhere without real winters. I would be denying myself some of my most favorite days to the year: The First Snow; The First Morning I Wake Up To Snow; Staying Home From Work Because of a Blizzard Snow; Quiet Snow; Sparkly Snow; Colorful Snow. Snow has a way of cracking my heart wide open and allowing a huge amount of giddiness to flow through. I want to breathe deep breaths and feel the way it feels to let in color and light and fresh air. How many different names for snow do the Eskimos have? I want to learn them all.
But instead of the ground being covered in white, I've found a relatively normal fall day--blustery and grey (it didn't start snowing again until later and then continued for most of the day), with a lot fewer leaves on the trees after a night's worth of wind. I got up early to a hungry cat and a cold house. Coolness rises from the floorboards and into my legs making me shiver, making my coffee taste good.
And this morning I am thinking about all those months that I got up in the dark, early hours of the day to write in my journal. Snuggled in my robe and a blanket, with my cat curled up to my side, I would write in the glow of the lamp in the little upstairs room of our rented house until it was time to start the day. I loved those quiet, nearly-night mornings. I felt contained. Afterwards I would walk Anu, get ready, and then walk to school in the just-barely-light of the sunrise.
One thing I've always been good at is creating little worlds for myself. I used to do it as a child-- sitting in my closet, or under a pine tree, behind the rocking chair next to the bookshelf. And I guess that's never changed. There are days that I feel like a turtle carrying my world around like a shell on my back, its insides painted the colors of my imagination. Maybe that's what I like so much about early mornings and cold days spent inside or out. The colder it is, the darker it is, the fewer there are to intrude upon the fragile constructions that I surround myself with--those places where I create peace.
It's in those early mornings that I am able to hold myself in the palm of my own hand, protected. It is when I do my silent work within, welcoming the day.