It’s been snowing for days, flakes sifting down from the sky.  The shoveled pathway to the yurt has become a chute with snow-walls up past my knees, and yesterday as I hauled two buckets of water up in the sled, one foot left the narrow packed-down trail and I sunk in to my thigh.

It piles up around our little round home, and as the wood stove warms the snow on the roof, it slides and slumps off, growing the pile half-way up the outer walls, and we are thankful for the extra insulation it provides on all the cold nights that dip down below 0–all this snow makes it a cozy winter for yurt-dwellers.

fence line in snow

At this time last year I was stir-crazy, ready for a reprieve along the New Jersey shoreline, but now, I’m happy for the cold and snow.  Happy to stand in the forest and hear the swoosh of snow as hemlock boughs loosen their load.  Happy to look up just at that moment and see the flakes sifting to the ground.  Happy for the split second of weightlessness with each step before my snowshoes compress the lofty top layer of snow.

Happy, too, for the breaks of sun that open up the landscape, warming our faces as our breath puffs out into the cold air.