Today was a surprise day off. The fact that it also was a snow day was luck. I had scheduled the day weeks in advance for the second part of a fiddle lesson weekend with Heather. Heather was coming for lessons from Gettysburg, PA and was planning on spending the night in Cambridge but the weather reports were ominous. She ended up heading home early and I used the free time to rest up. I stoked the stove and watching some Gilmore Girls while drinking coffee (apropos) after all the necessary work was done.
In the late afternoon I stuck a chicken in the oven with some onions and potatoes, put some hardwood in the stove, and grabbed my shotgun. I had shells for small game in one pocket and deer in the other. The wind was finally dying down and instead of gusts of white air and ice like I had experienced during chores, things were calmer. I sat out with my gun on a saddle pad in the snow for an hour and a half at dusk. I didn’t expect to see a buck or a bunny, but I was ready for both. It felt amazingly quiet. Occasionally I would hear the distant gunshot from another hunter but mostly the world seemed insulated and personal. The ground showed prints and promises and I did my best but it didn’t take long for my feet to feel numb and my face turn red. As the sun disappeared I headed home. It was nearly dark when I walked inside to my dogs.
If I have one wish for you, it is that you someday get to walk inside a warm house after hours in a cold wood. That you can dry your boots by a fire and inhale the smells of roasting meat and vegetables. It was such a beautiful moment, that. Sometimes I think this whole farm is about the moments I come inside and know comfort, under its rawest terms. Blankets feel softer, food tastes better, drinks hit quicker, life seems simpler.
It was a very nice Sunday. A reminder what I am fighting for.