And the Home Got Snowed In . . .

A week ago Monday, we had a snow day accompanied by frigid temperatures that made even the dogs despair of going outside.

Escaping the trailer, I hiked up the loop in San Fidel in my snowboots, the anklet of berries (ghost beads) on my left foot digging painfully deep until my walking twisted them around into a place where I couldn’t feel them anymore.

Though it’s easy to love every season in New Mexico, I appreciate winter here more than anywhere else. The cold, dry air is ebullient and reviving, and when it snows, it is magical. There is nothing like the desert most of the time, but in the snow, the desert lies quiet, still, blanketed, and muffled . . . it is an altogether different thing – a sleeping beast, beautiful under a cozy cloud of white sleep, dormant for a time.

(Lava under fresh snow looks like crumbly, molten, chocolate cookies with a generous coating of confectioner’s sugar. Don’t be fooled, though; it will break your teeth, your face, and wear the soles of your boots down.)

The hooked knob above San Fidel – which you can see all the way from Albuquerque as you’re driving west – sometimes looks like a sleeping bear, Rip Van Winkle with fur and a snout, perpetually snoring dozily with his mouth hanging open. It is easy to imagine a giant, boulder-sized drip of drool sliding down his mouth and freezing in the cold temperatures. And – inevitably, I always get Sufjan Stevens’ “Sleeping Bear, Sault Ste. Marie stuck in my head when I see him.

Then it is quickly replaced by the Fleet Foxes, who have penned and composed some of the best Winter Music known to man.

I hope if you have a snow day, there’s a friendly porch waiting at the end of it where tea or cocoa materializes and you can let your boots dry near a woodstove until you walk the mile back to your trailer.

When today becomes tomorrow in 12 minutes’ time, we will have another snow day – necessitating a grateful thanks given to the four inches of powdery, white flakes burying everything under the sky.

Be well. – SAWK

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