Monday, February 27, 2023

The first winter

For two days the temperature dropped to twenty below. Wind thrashed the trees. The sky was blown clear except for the merest whisp of cloud.

We covered the windows with blankets and batting of wool. The cabin shaded dark even at midday. The woodstove brimmed with glowing coals.

Outside the snow was blinding white and scalloped by the wind, dusted with frozen needles blown out of the conifers. 

The children stayed in the loft for two days. We didn’t force them outside or even downstairs. Food stored on the floor froze solid, as did the buckets of dishwater under the sink.

On the second day the full moon rose clear and bright and cold. The world sat still and serene in a perfect stunned silence. The animals hid away, the trees long enduring.

Yesterday, in warmer weather,  I cut and bucked and split a small birch. A few nights fuel wood, prepared for next winter.