Here in Flyinge, the cold stays close to the ground. The snow we had weeks ago, enough to cover the yards and streets and the tops of the hedges, is still there, albeit eroded at the edges. On the streets, it's icy on the north and south sides where the sun doesn't sit long enough to cause the ice to concede. It makes walking difficult as it runs in streaks of ice, snow-topped ice, plain pavement, and snow, crunching underfoot and crackled with the frozen forms of footprints.
Everyone's been out walking, judging from the myriad footprints: booted, shoed, canine, feline, bird. Our backyard is a peppered pattern of prints: mostly pheasant under the trellis where the bird feeders sway, but also dotted with the big blacks: crows, ravens, jackdaws and the showy joker magpies who flash and flirt from trellis to tree.
At lunch, I throw on my boots and coat and scarf, wishing I could leave it all off to soak up the sun and vitamin D, and head out for a brisk promenade around the neighborhood. Our neighborhood is a big winding circle with lots of turns, and two cross-sectioning paths that cut through the center block. If I go just on the street, around the whole thing, it takes about 10 minutes. I can add a few more by criss-crossing, so that I turn and twist, zig-zagging my way up to the top of the block and then back, in a big double-crossed-S-shape. Walking like that gives me more sun-face-time. If I just went around, I'd be almost exclusively on the east/west and I wouldn't get nearly as much sun, which is my primary reason for my lunchtime walks (along with fresh air, which can't be appreciated enough). Sometimes a neighbor will pass by, also out to get fresh air and a faceful of sun. "Hej," we greet each other. "Hej." I don't wear a hat so the sun can reach all of my head and heat up my brain and warm up my insides from the top down.
Other things besides winter sunshine and walks in it that don't suck right now:
- Solitude with good books to read
- Friends who call me to make sure I'm okay being on my own this week
- Recommending books to be voted on for next year's selection for my book club
- Talking about beloved books with Martin, who is just discovering some of them
- Watching tiny birds flit back and forth to the feeder
- Avocados and cottage cheese
- A really good TV show: Dickinson
- The return of the light...it's not dark at 4:30 anymore!
- Daily texts from my husband and daughter and son
What's on your list?