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I am a mother, a teacher, and a nature lover. I grew up on a mountain we called Owls' Knob in the Ozarks of Arkansas. The first seven years of my life were spent living in a log cabin, far from a store or streetlight, without electricity or running water and after twenty years of travel, I returned to the abondoned homestead. Now I live on a hill by a small lake and work at a public garden. These are stories about nature written from a women deeply influenced by place.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Sticky White

Overnight a white comforter covered the landscape and feathery flakes followed until midday. The wet snow stuck to cedar needles, beech and bamboo leaves. It painted profiles on tree trunks and accented outreached arms. My feet stayed cold and damp.

Late in the day, the clouds parted for the bluest sky and gleaming sunshine. As the sky grew dark, the yellow moon peered with a full face across the glistening snow. Shadows of naked trees drew fingers and hands on the ground. The clear night's and bitter cold sucked all moisture from the air, leaving icy flour to swirl at dawn.

Today the clouds hung low and the frozen world slept. The pipes froze overnight again. By noon the hot water flowed, but the cold waterline never defrosted. I taped plastic to windows and stapled curtains to door frames, keeping the fire roaring and the chicken soup simmering. Tonight I will sleep well under my quilts, even though more frozen waterlines are expected.

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