Sunday, March 8, 2015


A horrible cold has been doing the rounds, so I spent most of the week shivering, achy and congested, underneath Rozzie's childhood eiderdown, known as Flowerbed.

Flowerbed was named by Rozzie and is by far and away the coziest eiderdown in the home, even though she is also the most lumpy and faded.

Flowerbed on the settee that became my sickbed
Anyway, I lay under Flowerbed up in the library, reading Violette Leduc all week long and drinking fizzy water squeezed with lime. Then on Thursday morning, a long snow fell outside, with its fingers on its lips - tiptoeing into the neighborhood gardens and over the hedges and trees and filling up the streets and driveways.  By evening, we were snowed in.

But Friday was beautiful and my flu was gone. I realize that CS Lewis wasn't thinking of Virginia when he wrote about Narnia - always winter but never Christmas.  He was thinking of a greyer more northerly winter than this.  Our Virginia winters have blue skies, our snows are often in sunlight and our birds keep singing.

neighborhood walk
Yes, it was beautiful on Friday morning when I took the dogs for a walk.  The streets were hushed. I could hear the crunch of my boots. Nobody was driving, but many neighbors were outside. Children were sledding and their parents were dusting off  their cars and shoveling their driveways.  Winter here reminds me that we don't have to live in cars and sometimes we don't have to keep up a cracking pace.  First and foremost we live in this neighborhood.

greyhounds on their walk

Today it is Sunday and it looks more sloppy out. The thaw has begun. Also the clocks have moved forward and although it's still mostly white, you sense the coming spring.  I'm writing this blogpost for my northerly friends, for Alice, my mother in law, especially, who lives in Massachusetts - and says it looks like Dr Zhivago's Russia.  I'm writing this for the ones who have had it with winter.   Spring is coming, I promise you!

our back garden, with dog and fox prints

1 comment:

  1. Hi Amanda,
    It is March 12th and it's been snowing for three days now. There is already so much snow on the ground that when I walk in the city, I see that the embankments stand taller than I am. I cannot see over them in many places. Now, there is more snow, and more on the way. But it is warm, they say. So they say. Yes, a degree above zero Centigrade during the warmest part of the afternoon. I know what you mean about the silence. I was in the woods this weekend, learning how to ski cross country. I was terrible. I fell many times and went home aching, but there were moments in the woods that felt enchanted by silence. Those deep, Siberian woods. Not like in, say, Massachusetts, where there is always a town or a line of railroad tracks not too far away. The silence was stunning, and a comfort, and something to fear, as well, as it magnified in my mind how small I am, how helpless I would be if ever a bear or tiger just showed up seeking food. This didn't happen, of course, but the thought of it, the being there and vulnerable in such an untainted environment made me appreciate some of the comforts of a home. I was sick myself, almost all of February, down with a nasty flu virus. Nothing worse, I think, than being sick far from home. But like yourself, like all our friends and loved ones, we are on the mend.
    Missing you and Ben and Virginia. I know spring is coming. I keep telling myself that. But it will be another couple of months, to be sure. Keep us posted on spring in Virginia, where, indeed, the birds sing in the snowlight.