A brisk north wind cavorts across the roof and through the sleeping trees in the garden, making their frozen branches ring like bells. Up close, the icicles embellishing the old trees are abstract glossy confections—they're filled with tiny bubbles and suspended against a bright blue sky. Madcap gusts dislodge twigs and shards of ice from trees overhanging the house. The tiny bits and pieces gambol across the roof, then plummet over the eaves into deep snowdrifts wrapping the house like comforters stuffed to the seams.
No matter what thermometer one embraces, it is often well below zero here in February, and February is only a few days away. Current predictions are that springtime will be late this year so it will probably be several weeks until the maple syrup season begins, until the great geese sing their way home again. If my favorite birds have any sense (and they are canny birds indeed), they will remain in the south for a while longer this time around. Never daunted by cold and wind and snow, owls are already nesting in the eastern Ontario highlands, and that is a cheery thought.
Having been charged with remaining indoors, I slip outside for a few minutes anyway and snap photos of trees and icicles, 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 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 pleasing thought, a Zen thing.