It has been two weeks since our last major snowfall––the one that dumped over twenty-four inches onto our small corner of the world––and although the grounds are now walkable, and the trail Duncan and I have carved out isn't quite as treacherous, there are areas of the surrounding parking lot that are still quite challenging. The management of our apartment complex recently contracted with a new snow removal company, but they haven't proven as proficient as the previous removers. And so mountains of snow have been erected all over the place, which can make driving through it a problem. Some of these snow piles stretch far out into our parking spaces and rise six to eight feet above us. Trees have been practically buried up to their lowest boughs and the shrubs and low bushes where the small birds roost have all but vanished. Duncan, lover of all things snowy and wet, doesn't mind so much, and prefers to climb the highest of peaks, which can make walking him, especially at night, a bit awkward. I can't tell you the number of times I've dropped his leash and watched him scurry to the top only to slide on his back down the other side, a grin spread wide across his face, unmindful and uncaring of the ice that clings to his ears and back. His new preference is to get as high as he can and leave his mark, a frozen yellow flag that none of the other dogs can reach. Sometimes, though, he'll struggle up the crusted, pebbled side just to sit and gaze out over his kingdom, looking into the sun, watching the hawks circle overhead and the clouds moving across the cold, blue sky.
Sometimes I watch him, looking out and cocking his head this way and that, and wish he had command of words and could put his thoughts to paper. He studies this world, its moving and especially its stillness, like a poet and his thoughts must surely be profound.
His awe at the marvel of life is one of the blessings of mine.