Saturday, January 9, 2010
Five more Days
Another chilly morning with temperature and wind chill well below normal. With the days winding down and only five remaining, I wonder how to proceed. I still have not found the mysterious bicycle rider, have not used the snow shoes except on one day, have not walked on the lake, except for one of its small inlets, have not gone ice fishing with Jerry, and have not Nordic skied with the two women who wanted to. Other obligations have consumed their time, while I have repeated treks in the same woods, to the same windswept fields, stores and cafes. I have experienced all that I wanted to, on a plan that evolved and changed as the days went by.
Today I walked five miles in chilling conditions that would have scared me indoors on my first day here. Fortunately, winter came on slowly, giving time to learn and acclimate. Most working people can’t do that, but stay inside except for perhaps ten minutes at a time to perform some outside duty. I can confidently say that I am better prepared physically for winter than most of the people who live in International Falls.
I feel fortunate to have been allowed to come here, to enjoy winter, and to do so without feeling that I have shirked some duty. I am fortunate to have good health and enough money, but I am also fortunate for mental ability to live frugally. It is not by will power that I have a small apartment in Pasadena without even a kitchen, but rather an innate lack of need for comfort. I am fortunate because this mental state allows me to use what I have to go and experience, rather than to stay home and feel secure. It seems an inherited trait, and not some great choosing on my part. I blame no one who chooses comfort, and sometimes I wish for a desire to settle down.
And so today I report seeing more snow, more sparkles, more crystals of growing ice, and kids playing hockey. Once I was one of them, on the ice at Pasadena Winter Gardens. Now, with just as much free time, I am open for ideas on where to go next. The desire to settle down is still only a wish.