The wrens and juncos in the area know that when God’s dandruff covers the ground, there’s a chubby blonde woman in the brown house at the edge of the woods who will throw out seed for them. I have a tough time remembering to keep feeders filled in the summer, but I always throw seed out the back door when it snows. And this el Nino winter has me tossing it out like mad. We’ve just had too much snow this season.
And I’m not a cold-loving kind of person. I hate winter in fact. I hate how I can’t seem to warm up. I hate how my lips are always chapped and my skin always dry. I hate dressing in layers. I REALLY hate the static shocks I get from my car door and super market shelves. I hate the claustrophobic feeling of being snow bound. I hate being expected to participate in cold weather sports. I hate stocking up on emergency supplies. . . the list could go on and on. In fact, up until this morning, the only thing I enjoyed about a northern winter was sipping a Baily’s on the rocks beside a fire after the kids had gone to bed.
Up until this morning. Up until I opened the back door to scatter seed for my little friends and experienced one of those moments in life that changes your soul.
It had snowed all night, but had stopped for a brief respite. My little feathered friends were hopping about on the snow-covered patio, waiting for fresh food. I opened the door and they flew off in a panic. It happens all the time, but I never take it personally. They always come back. I’m just not sure if they fly away because the seed hurts when it hits them, or if they’re still afraid of me for some reason.
Anyway, I tossed the seed and started to curse the cold, when I looked up and realized how very beautiful it all was. How the silence of a deep snow smothers in a most elegant style. How the hush and still made the world seem pristine, pure, innocent. How the sparkling white balanced out the harsh black of the tree branches. And I knew without question, that even if I didn’t understand what the hell was going on, that the world made sense. That everything is in balance, in harmony. And that all is right in the universe.
It was not unlike a moment I experienced when my son was an infant, shortly after he’d mastered the art of sitting upright unassisted. I had given him a bath and sat him on a towel on the floor of the steamy bathroom. With his beautiful posture he sat and marveled at his water-wrinkled little feet. He was in awe of their incredibleness: his eyes big, his mouth agape, his hands grasping his feet like they were cradling gold and diamonds. And there was a beauty in the purity and innocence of the moment that made me realize regardless of the shit in the world, my life is pretty damned good.
I was one lucky little wench back then and still am.