This is what March looks like from the inside of my house with the door open as I watch nature do her thing.
In ten to fifteen minutes the wind will really pick up, whistling through the branches of the trees and blowing that fluffy snow in white, blinding swirls.
I will think about Husband out there on the roads that were coated in rain yesterday afternoon and likely frozen solid today and I will worry until I hear the sound of his boots clump up the steps and the creak of the door as it swings open.
Home, safe and sound in the middle of a full-blown March blizzard.
Oh, we get one or two in this month that promises spring pretty soon, but not quite yet.
Kids all across the state are celebrating the first snow day of the winter by bundling up to head outside and build forts and fling snowballs or snuggling in their jammies under a blanket with popcorn and a movie.
Teachers are taking this free day to catch up on paperwork, housework or finish that book they haven’t had time to start, dads and moms are shoveling sidewalks and driveways, college students are drinking beer or playing video games, grampas are watching the radar, ranchers with cattle under their care are worrying about calving and throwing an extra straw bale out on the snowy ground and the southerners up here for work are wondering what the hell they’ve gotten themselves into.
Me? Well, I’m in my long underwear staring out the window at the way the snow swirls and drifts and makes the walls of this house moan a bit. The snow is melting from my boots and making puddles on the warm floor in the entryway and the dogs are snoring on their spots, a result of our morning trek outside to admire the way the snow had settled on the trees overnight.
That was before the wind picked up and shook it off.
That was before Husband was home safe and sound.
That was before I ate a sandwich and wrote a song I think I might have written before and thanked the heavens from where this snow was falling that I didn’t have to be anywhere but home.
Because an hour ago I was making my way to the top of the hill to see what the overnight snow had done to yesterday’s brown landscape. The dogs reached the summit before me, their ears blowing in the wind and their eyes squinting against the snowflakes landing on their eyelashes with growing force.
I knelt down to snap a photo of a frozen, sleepy flower and headed for the shelter of the oaks.
No matter the wind and the weather those trees are a haven and a sort of quiet mystery to me. I know that’s where the horses are, somewhere in this pasture huddled together in the oak groves. I know that’s where the deer bed and the elk hide and the squirrels and grouse and maybe even the mountain lions go to wait out the weather.
To wait for spring.
And I know I won’t see them today, the blizzard growing more severe and the dogs more obnoxious and curious as they snort and roll and climb in and out of the banks.
This time of year I get restless. This time of year I get worried that I won’t have another great idea, that my skin will never be brown again, that I won’t ever warm up.
Last night I declared these worries out loud to Husband who lay next to me in bed, relaxed and assured and breathing softly in the dark.
In the quiet calm of a Sunday night, a night working on brewing a storm that would keep us tucked in our houses the next day, I said, “What if I never write another song? What if all of my ideas are used up? What if I’m not good enough to keep up with the plans I have? What if I get sad and stay sad? I can’t be sad. I don’t have time to be sad.”
He was silent for the moment after the words I chose, the ones that went… “I wish you understood…” and then he said, “You can be sad. And you can do nothing. Sometimes you need to do nothing. And then, you need to get up, go outside and live a life that gives you something to write about.”
So I went out in the storm today, not because I don’t know what it feels like, but because I wanted to feel it again. Because I wanted to be reminded.
And I wanted to be cold and out of breath and far away from the house and the work and the worry and sheltered by nothing but the heavy branches of the oaks.
I wanted to be quiet and let nature–uncontrollable, unpredictable, fascinatingly, frustratingly, beautifully unyielding nature–do her thing while the rest of the world made snowmen and banana bread, mopped floors and read newspapers, navigated snowy roads, called friends, made plans and wrote novels.
And I, like the deer bedded down and undetectable, did nothing but wait.