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Monday, January 28, 2008

Winter Sun

The sun is out, shimmering off the remaining leaves that flutter away on the live oak across the street. The wind has lost its icy chill, the day not warm, but welcoming in comparison to the grey weeks we have been shivering through. There is a spot on the ceiling where raindrops were dripping their way through the roof last night and landing on the rug just inside the back sliding door, informants telling of the gutters that have been clogged by the leaves and detritus left by two years worth of winter storms. Although the day beckons me out, I’m not sure it’s going to be all the way up the ladder to the roof to do chores. I know I will love the view once I am up there, and muscle memory kicks in remembering the feeling of carefully bracing myself against the slope of the roof, shading my eyes with one hand while the other I keep raised away from my body at arm’s length, balancing the rest of me against the dreaded fall that never comes. I have been up there often enough over the years to imagine what I would see; the small network of patches outlined by wooden fences that are the neighbor’s yards, green foothills rising from the busy roads a mile away, and the golden fields that stretch out to the hills that rise to become the darker peaks of the small mountains to the north and south of us. There was snow on those southern peaks for a few days last week, the rain meeting the cold high enough to leave a coating of white above our valley for those of us not too busy to look. It’s amazing the huge difference in perspective that a few feet of height can make, and I imagine rising up even further into the wind to stretch my gaze farther, watching the bustle of life around me become like an ant farm as we grow less and less important as individuals. And I find myself wondering how odd it is that the size of the world outside seems to match the size of my spirit inside; both endless and for the most part unexplored. But stepping out the front door into a sunny day seems like a good place to begin, even if the gutters don't get cleaned, no?

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