A brisk north wind blows across the roof and through the trees, making the frozen oak branches ring like bells. The madcap gusts dislodge twigs and tiny shards of ice that skate across the shingles, then plummet over the eaves into the deep snowdrifts wrapping the house like fat pillowy comforters stuffed to the seams.
It is well below zero here, no matter which thermometer one embraces, and there is snow in the cards for today and much of the weekend. Spring will arrive later this year, and it will probably be several weeks before the maple syrup season begins, before the great geese sing their way home again. If my favorite birds have any sense, and they are canny birds to be sure, they will remain in the south for quite a while longer this year.
Having promised faithfully to remain indoors until my fever abates, I just have to go outside anyway for a few minutes and snap a few images of trees and roofs and chimneys and sky. Wrapped up warmly and looking like a yeti (or an abominable something anyway), I stand in the wonderfully pebbled snow in the garden and capture a few images.
Out of the blue, a thought comes as I turn to go back inside before anyone notices that I am no longer in there, but rather out here. It is the images that are capturing me this morning, and not me capturing them. It's a Zen thing.