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Location: SW New Hampshire

Re: Zuihitsu

Post by sasha » January 14th, 2019, 11:21 am

5 degrees (-13, for those who employ more sensible units of measure) - the chill instantly freezes my nose hairs and wrings tears of shock from my eyes, but my gloves are still warm from their overnight repose on a hot air register, so my fingers easily work the key to lock the front door behind me. The dog is already halfway down the driveway, a treacherous, icy river of frozen rain-soaked snow. By skirting along its very edge I can find secure footing atop the leaves and sticks at the base of the stone wall, and make my way to the road where he happily waits for me to attach the leash and slip him his first treat.

The road too is a slick, potholed glacier of icy hardpack, but well-sanded, justifying my decision to leave the Yak-Trax behind. Bursts of early morning sunlight peek intermittently through the eclipsing trees as we pass by, but it isn't until we reach bare pavement that the woods recede far enough from the road that it spills unimpeded across the ground. Following some primal, pagan urge I stop and turn to the southeast to worship the blazing golden Thing hovering above the treeline at the far end of Bill's field. Despite the brutal cold, I can feel its warmth on my face. I raise a gloved hand to shield my eyes - and when I do, I unexpectedly see snow sifting down onto the frozen grass, even though the sky overhead is an icy crystalline blue.

Snow - sparse, nearly unnoticed, like those first tentative flakes heralding a storm. I happen to look up into the bare branches of the hickory tree at the edge of the road, its twigs a filligree backlit against a matte of blue. They sparkle, coated with a delicate layer of rime - individual crystals refracting the incident light into tiny rainbows when illuminated from just the right angle. Higher up, where my angle to the incoming rays is greater, they shine white. The "snow" is coming from the tree, tiny bits of frost jarred loose by the impinging sunlight.

The scene's ethereal, irridescent beauty, its primitive Druidic appeal to my pagan soul, the insight it provides into the physical processes that drive the world we inhabit (and those we don't) - I find myself smiling, and when I do I can feel that my exhalations have frozen into my mustache. I am of this world, a creature of the boreal forest, that cruel landlord who this morning has unexpectedly offered me a tiny gift.

The dog is unimpressed, and stares expectantly at me. I give the leash a shake. "C'mon, Kane," I say. "Let's go."
I'm not an outlier. I just haven't found my distribution yet.

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