The ground outside was smeared with the lightest pasting of snow this morning. Barely enough to sneeze at.
Within an hour, it was falling thick and fast, huge fluffy flakes that clung to the ground with a lover’s gentle need. My dog’s tracks, scattered across the yard in haphazard, following-his-sniffer fashion, filled in quickly. I grabbed chunks of pinyon from the front porch, called the dog to come in (yeah, right), and made sure the fire was going warm and toasty.
When I settled into my writing, I felt snug and cozy. Perfect writing weather! Bending my head to the task, I lost myself online as so very often happens. Oh, I wrote some too. Glares, faint growls, and some serious downturned jowling also occurred as I pondered my literary future and found it lacking.
And what happened next, you ask? Why, I looked up about an hour later, and all the cocooning snow was melting! Dripping off my roof, muddling into the dirt. The sun was out in full force, warm enough for October, let alone December.
Done. Grabbed the dog, threw on a few layers, threw ourselves out the door and into the glorious sort of day that only southern Utah can produce. (In my utterly humble estimation, of course.) Cerulean sky…miniature puffs of spotless clouds…burgundy, salmon, coppery cliffs jumbled and tumbled and exquisitely designed in the most eye-catching layouts.
I nearly tripped over my own feet a few times, just staring. Best of all? Smile after smile ripped across my face, huge and happy and out of nowhere. Alive, spinning and drunk with the beauty of the land, standing and gazing at it. Listening to my dog bark at a deer trotting off a half mile away from us. Throwing him a stick and running with him for the pure joy of it all. Laughter, bubbling up clean and light.
That, my friends, is the healing power of the wilderness. And that’s why I still live here, in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by little except a huge landscape of emptiness and quiet stillness. It saves me, again and again. It nurtures and succors me. And for that, I am pretty damn content.