Winter here is no longer a sustained season. The warming planet has made SE PA a new season, a dripping, mud-slick gray interval, a 40 to 50 degree misery of fog and sudden ice spots, of ice more than snow, of damp more than cold. Thus, when very cold temperatures hit, teens and single digits, our bodies react ever more acutely. We lack the conditioning of past years.
So for me the cold is welcome, a definitive line, a boon to the spirit. The dogs revel in it, their energies increasing as the cold and dry air set in. They bound about, we all do, they in their prime agility and me, a happy Walter Brennan redux, hobbling like a listing ship toward frisbees and balls they chase and keep away from me.
I miss the snow-skies, the milky, translucent light, the warning drop of the barometer announcing itself under the skin, the anticipation and then the walk in soft snow before the winds come up, the joviality of knowing the busyness of cars and journeys will be suspended, and the next morning too, the storm gone north, the pink apricot line spreading all along the southeast, and in that light, crows already hurrying among the dark tangles of backlit trees towards food and play, and the world remade in drifts and shining.