I spent a week in Virginia over the holidays and made a point to walk every day, either in the large field behind the church or in Sky Meadows. I didn’t have my camera the day that everything was encased with ice–shards falling all around us–and the trees were glittering and creaking. But it’s enough to remember the sights and sounds, and to be relieved that even these grasses made it through such an ordeal.
Back in New York, the winter has not been so picturesque, but, yes, there are lights and the ocean remains close, and, as ever, I hear the sounds of the little resilient birds who are staying put.
Every time I go home to Virgina, I take a trip to Sky Meadows. If I’m lucky, the sun lights up the grass and milkweed strands coat the fields in some places. Despite the cold, I love this landscape in winter. All the colors are muted, the trees are reduced to striking shapes grasping the sky, and all the hunting birds are visible. The wind, though, whips across this rise with some forgotten strength, and I’m always happy for some warmth to return to.
I need a new tactic for my blog post titles. I will think on this.
Anyway, I was sick for a few days and didn’t run. Also, it was Christmas, and I was involved with my family and cooking and the thought of running seemed so foreign to me from the comfort of my home in Virginia. My Brooklyn life is somewhat spartan, which means, I suppose, that my freezing early morning outings seem less insane than simply bracing and restorative.
When I finally did drag myself out of bed in the morning hours a few days ago, I ran as fast as possible down Rt. 50 in order to reach the long stretch of road among the fields that I thought might replenish my desire to run every day. Wearing a balaclava that my parents gave me, I looked more like a Zapatista than a citizen of a small Virginia town, and my attempts to smile broadly at everyone I passed were met with two large roadblocks, namely, there were no passers-by, and my face was invisible.
The run was beautiful, and there was mist rising off the fields and the woods were deep and spindly. The water froze along the side of the road in shards of ice and I watched the mountains emerge in the distance. When I took off my strange head covering, it was so quiet out there in the country.
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