As much as possible lately, I abandon our paved bike paths and strike out across a large soccer field near our house. (I mentioned this last time I posted here.)
This morning as I crossed the street and passed a man shoveling his driveway, I began to ponder how I would answer, were he to notice and ask why I insisted on trekking across a field in deep snow.
This is why:
To feel deeply connected and utterly whole and alone at the same time.
To resonate with the silence beneath the honking of geese as they descend to the pond; the silence beneath the humming of tires as a car moves along the street; the silence beneath the soft thump of my boots as I move across my field; the silence beneath the snow, beneath the field, beneath all that is.
To be lost and boundless and boundary-less in a world of endless white; to be the first to create a way, a path, into that world.
To challenge myself to tromp from the bottom of the hill to its highest point, to force air into my lungs; to breathe more deeply and notice how very alive I am.
To touch the memory of an earlier self, who used to ski in Colorado every week, and at Tahoe every year.
To experience again the unique sound of crisp dry leaves beneath fresh snowfall in the narrow channel that runs through the park.
To let myself feel the cold instead of fighting it, or bracing myself against its intensity.
On my way back, after circling the small lake, and trudging through the channel, and up the hill, I follow the urge to sit, and then to lie down. On impulse, I make a snow angel. I let the cold sink into my backside. Snow covers my jacket and jeans.
I stand and admire my creation, laughing, and as I shake off what I can of the snow, I wonder what's become of the man who was shoveling. Maybe he went indoors to get his phone and now texts travel up and down the block, neighbor-to-neighbor.
"She's out there again, the Lost Loony Lady. Today she think's she's six!"
Maybe they've witnessed it before, like the time I lay down on the earth, looking up into the deep evening sky of autumn, loving the moon and feeling the moon love me back. Or when I circled the field, lacking prayer beads or a labyrinth, contemplating my steps in heart meditation.
Say it's the gypsy in me, as Jack does, or the Inner Child, or the Wild Woman. I'm in love.