January 4, 2011. The Morning.

By January 4, 2011 No Comments

I woke this morning early, before light. The streetlight down the block silhouetted my cat sitting on the windowsill. Muted, the image appeared indistinct on the wall. I turn over and sit up. Snow. Fine cold snow drops straight down against the streetlight.

Since moving to Fernie I marvel at the lack of wind accompanying our snows. In Colorado, snow arrives with wind. Snow curls around corners and sifts into every nook and cranny. Drifts build waist high with every chance. Here, snow stacks itself high on every possible horizontal surface. Snow falls at rest

As the sun rises with a diffused light, I watch the day and the block become distinct.

Across the street stands an old branching mountain ash. The snow now sits three or four inches deep on the branches. The last remaining bunches of berries only show hints of the red under piles of flakes. To the left, one house down, the curves of a faded mid-80’s GMC pick-up mimics the berries on a far larger scale. Curves hidden, yet red still pokes from under the new white. The phone line across the street bears a stretched negative image of the line below. Four inches of snows sits stacked on the line.

Hard black against the snow, a raven flies up my street from the south. Immediately in front of my window he abruptly turns left, away, and flies to the next block over. He then turns right, back north and continues. I watch. One block up, he makes the same jog left one block, then right, continuing north. The raven becomes softer, paler moving up the grid of streets.

A flock of small birds fly by. Maybe 50, maybe 75. They fly in a moving ball. Black flittering specks loosely defining a sphere moving through a falling morning snow. They too fly north. Ignoring the grid of development, they angle across the blocks. Free. Swirling, like smoke in flight.

Now a couple hours after starting to write, the snow builds too high to hold to the phone wire. Sections have fallen off, the white strand broken above the wire.

I think I’ll go skiing