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Creek Running North

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December 19, 2005

I hate winter

Everything takes longer; everything is a hassle and a waste. The smallest action is made more difficult by heavy clothes and stiff, gloved fingers. The snowdrift between me and my destination is always exactly two inches taller than whatever footwear I'm wearing. I hate the uncertain footing; the missed patch of ice on the back steps, the sick sweating moment when falling is inevitable. I hate shovelling snow; I much prefer sweating in the garden in tank top and shorts to doing it under heavy layers of coat and long underwear.

But from my firm's conference room on the ninth floor, I can see downtown 15 miles away, lit by cold late afternoon sunlight the color of frozen peaches. What I can see of the sunset is in the same icy palette-cool salmon pink; silver-gold; a delicate, crystalline orange. I know the city to be full of commerce and bustle; reeking of too many people and their fossil fuels; the constant din of honking horns and thousands of one-sided cellphone conversations driving out all thought. From here, though, the stolid office buildings, their hard edges softened by the unearthly light, are ethereal spires, glowing like molten gold. The city looks as if it is carved of alabaster and rose quartz; gilded; fragrant with precious woods and ever-blooming flowers; a strand of distant, piping notes echoing through its streets. The lost fairy city of Chicago floats in the clouds of distance and movement, and dreams in the last rays of the setting sun.

Posted by Stephanie at December 19, 2005 02:15 PM TrackBack URL for this entry:
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decorative line of bighorn petroglyphs

Comments

May Peace
Hope and Love
be with you
Today
Tomorrow
and Always

Merry Christmas!

Posted by: Avik at December 19, 2005 04:09 PM
decorative line of bighorn petroglyphs

monet captured some of that magic in his lovely paintings, Ice Floes, A londoni Parlament épülete and another painting (also named in French) whose name escapes me at the moment.

Posted by: GrrlScientist at December 19, 2005 06:01 PM
decorative line of bighorn petroglyphs

The city I look down upon from my 4th floor office window (actually my boss's office) is neat and orderly and clean and even green. But when I get to ground level afoot or in my car, I see the trash and grit and homelessness. I'd much rather be in the woods!

Posted by: pablo at December 20, 2005 05:04 AM
decorative line of bighorn petroglyphs

I was freezing cold this morning and feeling sorry for myself. Until I thought of those poor New Yorkers trying to get to work on foot in this weather.

Posted by: Roxanne at December 20, 2005 07:44 AM
decorative line of bighorn petroglyphs

thanks for sharing this! my office window on the north side only offers a view of a brick wall, but i can live a little vicariously through this post.

keep warm....

Posted by: kate.d. at December 20, 2005 08:20 AM
decorative line of bighorn petroglyphs

I loved that, especially the final two beautiful sentences. Thank you!

Looking out the window of my office, a few dozen stories above the ground, I see that the snow is falling up today. Maybe the people below don't even know it's snowing.

Posted by: Charles at December 20, 2005 09:36 AM
decorative line of bighorn petroglyphs

i believe winter is given to us as a time to rest. conserve our energy. read a nice LONG book without feeling guilty or unproductive. take a nap. i love it. as i love what you have written. thanks!

Posted by: Anne at December 20, 2005 10:17 AM
decorative line of bighorn petroglyphs

I camped out last night, hear in NE CT. Brutal cold.
Seeing the sun rise over the frozen river made it worthwhile, though.

Posted by: john at December 20, 2005 01:16 PM
decorative line of bighorn petroglyphs

Thoughts on boots:
1) lap the layers: Long socks up, long johns down, boots up, pants down.
2) cinch the pants or the boots.
3) float daintily about the snow. :)

Posted by: Walter Jeffries at December 20, 2005 02:08 PM
decorative line of bighorn petroglyphs

I live in Chicago, amid the bustle Stephanie sees from afar. This great post has inspired me to draft my own post about the dribs and drabs of nature that surround city-dwellers...

Posted by: Orange at December 20, 2005 03:24 PM
decorative line of bighorn petroglyphs

Avik: Merry Christmas to you too!
GrrlScientist: Thank you for the reference; Monet's colors are exactly what I saw yesterday, with that same fading-into-dream quality.
pablo: Distance is all. And I would rather be in the woods too! I've never seen my favorite Ontario woods in the winter-they're apparently magnificent.
Roxanne: I heard about that on the radio this morning and felt the same way. Those people will get to feed their grandkids the "uphill both ways in a blizzard line" with some authority.
kate.d: Thanks, kate. You too.
Charles: Thank you for the kind words. I can lose a serious amount of time staring out the windows watching the snow swirl when one of those updrafts hits.
Anne: As soon as Christmas and the orgy of baking, canning, candymaking, and wrapping is over, I've got a stack of books to dive into. Some of them have been waiting since I started school in August. I can't wait. Fiction! I miss it.
john: Winter camping scares me a little-I'd be afraid to go to sleep and never wake up-but the sunrise and the river sound amazing. I am fascinated by ice and the shapes it takes.
Walter: *laugh* I know better, it's just I always seem to wear the stupid girly shoes to work on the day we get 4 inches. Today I am sensibly shod in boots and tall socks though. I like the floating daintily above the snow idea, but I'm afraid I've never been dainty in my life:)

Posted by: Stephanie at December 20, 2005 03:26 PM
decorative line of bighorn petroglyphs

This is beautiful. I love Chicago! (Haven't seen it with snow, though.)

Posted by: Rita Xavier at December 20, 2005 06:54 PM
decorative line of bighorn petroglyphs

Well, the light of the days are now officially getting longer again, we can all rejoice. "Winter has come"

Posted by: spyder at December 21, 2005 12:29 PM
decorative line of bighorn petroglyphs

the cold brings certain
atmospheric clarity.
plangent colors fade.
...

Posted by: peacebug at December 22, 2005 09:35 AM
decorative line of bighorn petroglyphs

the cold brings certain
atmospheric clarity.
plangent colors fade.
...

Posted by: peacebug at December 22, 2005 09:39 AM
decorative line of bighorn petroglyphs

the cold brings certain
atmospheric clarity.
plangent colors fade.
...

Posted by: peacebug at December 22, 2005 09:39 AM
decorative line of bighorn petroglyphs

That was best the third time.

Posted by: Chris Clarke at December 23, 2005 05:41 PM
decorative line of bighorn petroglyphs