The weather has finally turned having brought sub-zero temperatures and biting westerly winds. With them, so, too, have the snows come. For the first time this year, I have rescued my collection of scarves from the confines of my garage, and, staring out of this train’s frosted windows, I realize again how beautiful the North’s alabaster blanket is – for now, anyway, as all things turn. Soon, I too will turn back and head home to my yard long covered in unraked leaves, as much a sign of wanderlust as anything. As the snow falls, obscuring my neglect, I am afforded the option to hibernate and to obscure myself as well, to pull the covers up to my eyelids and burrow my toes between quilted folds.
Everything seems to drift both as the coach car rolls along these fiercely linear tracks and as the metabolism of the world slows down. For the first time in years, no supplemental retail job consumes my schedule for the holidays. My harried travel schedule has concluded for the year and may not resume at all until January comes to a close. Even those who busy me at home have absconded as their schedules filled up with their own holiday commitments. The door-to-door salesmen and politicians have all disappeared, and a Fortress of Solitude seems to build itself up around me.
It is just me and my leaves. They have been easy enough to ignore, to put off for another day, and it will be tempting to let their obfuscation buy them more time still. The snows will melt, though, revealing the decay before yet more snows fall to blind the world to my detritus, and one wonders how long a person can let it go on like that.
So, I nestle in for the slow season with my hot chocolate, a heavy-papered journal, and a cashmere sweater that still smells of an old lover in order that I might figure out how best to manage my leaves when they are once more revealed. Under the warmth of the Summer sun, you can run, but come Winter, you must mull. For years, I have merely waited out the frigidity, but, eventually, I know I must do the hard work and clean up what Autumn has left behind. This heavy blanket of leaves will decay as all things do, but as time goes on, with guided ministrations, it will become a warm, fertile bed of mulch. No longer weighed down, I look forward to tending the flowers that will sprout freshly come Spring’s invariable rebirth.