A surprise squall in the aftermath of the great Christmas thaw of 2020, and again the ground is covered. Four, maybe even five-inches, that magical cold snow, what I call snow globe snow because it looks exactly like what you’d image snow would look like if you’d only ever seen it in picture books. Fluffy. Big flakes. In the aftermath of the squall, I walk in the woods, scouting firewood. It’s almost impossibly pretty.
I dream I’m on an airplane that’s about to take off, and I realize suddenly that I’m the only person not wearing a mask. I don’t have one with me, and it’s too late to find one; the seat belt sign has been illuminated for my safety, the flight attendants have completed their final cabin check, and are settling into their seats. I start to panic, and then something shifts, and I’m able to relax and actually begin looking forward to that moment when the plane begins to accelerate for take off. I remember loving that moment as a child whenever we’d fly to visit my grandparents. Truth be told, it still gives me a little thrill.
When I drive, I look at people’s faces. This is what I miss most, just seeing people’s faces. The creases in their cheeks, the smile lines, the crooked teeth. I haven’t seen a good mustache in months. We’re fortunate, I know, for where we live, how we live. I don’t have to wear a mask but a handful of times each week, and even then, only for as long as necessary to do my business. It wasn’t until about two weeks ago that I finally worked through my stash of old construction masks, the ones I’ve had since back when you wore a mask for reasons other than the virus.
People say our lives will never be the same, but I’m not convinced. I imagine the virus will eventually pass, or we’ll learn to live with it, add it to the list of necessary risks we’ve learned to accept or simply ignore. We’re always gambling. We just don’t always realize it.
For those of you who keep coming back to this space – many of you for many years now – thank you. I often think I’m going to get back to posting more often, but that doesn’t seem to happen. Maybe this year it will, maybe not. Either way, thank you all for reading and Happy New Year.