Tag Archives: winter in New England


Relax! This is not a post about trump burning huge garbage bags full of official White House records. It’s not about the Canadian trucker “protest” being fomented by white American terrorists. And we can blessedly ignore Joe Rogan for the moment.

No, this post is about the sometimes surprising contrast between inside and outside and how being inside creates one set of assumptions that being outside contradicts. I refer here specifically to the contrasts between light and dark, between safe or unsafe walkways.

Let’s begin with light. I’m sure you’ve had this experience: shadows lay claim to the corners of the dining room, the hallway darkens. You snap on a light and wonder what to make for dinner. But then let’s suppose you step outside for some reason — a package arrives or you suddenly need to draw fresh air into your lungs.

And you are surprised to find that the landscape is still in thrall to day. It seems hours earlier. The canopies are burnished with light, the yards clearly visible. You shake your head.

Let’s continue with sidewalks. The dire weather coverage these days is enough to make even a stalwart New Englander curl up under a blanket and leave the dog to his own devices. It’s not about snow. It’s about snow changing to rain and then sleet and back again. It’s about the invisibility of black ice. It’s how a moderately shoveled sidewalk becomes more hazardous than an unshoveled one after a fine coating of freezing rain.

So, do I or don’t I?

A friend canceled a weekend walk and when she canceled again today, I wondered whether to risk it. After all, a cold, needle-like rain hit my face as I stood at the back door and flung treats out for Finn’s morning game of Find It. The way they bounced off the frozen surface was not encouraging.

But guess what? It was totally and almost hilariously fine. Walking was fine. Switching from street to sidewalk was fine. We went a different way, the old way, to avoid traffic on Langley but even Langley would have been safe.

I was able to sink into walker’s mind — that particular way of thinking that arises halfway through an hour long walk. I thought about how moved I was by all the comments yesterday. I thought about the damage and trauma already experienced, and the damage to come. It was not depressing somehow. Walking-mind thoughts rarely are.

And as if that wasn’t enough, a red-tailed hawk sailed overhead and landed at the top of a pine tree near the intersection of Ridge and Parker. So very fine.