Monday, January 16, 2012
Winter's Warmth and Strength
As the moon first knocks at the window she slices bread into thick pages to be placed in the toaster, cracking eggs into a bowl, dinner a simple omelet and tea.
The house is quiet, her man far away working for a few days.
Outside, the world is quiet, the four walls around her corralling her in, even as she is free to leave. There is still much to do, clothes fresh from the drier to be hung up, the remnants of her supper to be put away for morning. On the floor, a black lab twitches in his sleep, swimming against the impending night.
Outside, somewhere far in the distance a coyote howls. She looks out into the darkness, into the ancient and inscrutable face of the night, seeing nothing, knowing that does not mean nothing is there. The light faded, the wind brisk, the flow of the outside lights, small incandescent intervals of safety around the house, challenging anyone to come near.
Her chores completed, she turns on some music and sits by the fire, the lights off, the curtains open so she can keep her eye on her world. She's not afraid of the dark, not with her firearm and her courage, a mother bear who will defend to the death her home and her life. Behind her, a small lamp stammers its light, the shadows tossed upon land on which glaciers once slowly roared. From the distance she can hear the sonorous waves of sound from the woods, floating out to her, the cry of an owl, the yip of a predator. The sound builds, merging with the sounds inside the house, a soft laugh, a bit of a song, a resonance both subdued and rich, rising and retreating like a harmonic tide.
In a vase, a single flower, small and delicate, watered by hand, carrying its scent into the home. Water here this time of year is as rare and precious as love. When it falls, it falls in huge drops that seep into bare skin, wetting the formally barren ground, soaking in deep with the weight of an astonishing gift.
She looks delicate, but she is not, having seen both the drops of water and drops of blood that fall on the foreheads of the innocent. She is not unaware of the dangers that being a woman alone can pose, predators seeking defenseless prey, even in small, quiet towns.
But she can live no other way, hope laying on her, like snow on the ground, the conviction of unshakable faith of what she lives for and what she will fight for. She is aware of the weight of her weapon on her, feeling herself rushing back in time, without anything in her now that was born of seeing the world as it lay, not the vain imagining some wished upon it.
She touches the steel of the small pistol that sits in the pocket of her robe, resting against hips which have borne more than regret. It lay under her fingertips with the warmth of readiness.