Last night, I drove to a small community art gallery to meet some friends and look at the art that had just been hung. The gathering included several pseudonymous bloggers, but I've gotten so lax about staying anonymous that I am not going to link to any of them. My friend Poet Woman, who is an artist as well as a writer, scientist, photographer, healer, and all-around amazing person, had traveled all day to be at the opening, which featured some of her work. A group of us claimed a clump of chairs, hanging out and talking, catching up on news. Poet Woman's grown daughters, who both live in Snowstorm Region, encouraged her to tell all kinds of stories, including the one about the leech she once kept as a pet. The leech, I think, was before all the white mice that once lived in her bedroom.
This morning, the story-telling continued in the diner where I met Poet Woman and her husband for breakfast. Snow was falling, big flakes carried by a strong wind, and we all kept talking about how pretty snow seems this early in the season, when we are still excited to see it. After filling ourselves with breakfast food, we drove to a park to take a walk amidst all the new whiteness.
Even though I was wearing wool hiking boots and a winter coat, I felt ill-prepared for the sudden burst of winter weather. The three of us kept laughing at how cold we were, shivering and huddling together for warmth, all of us risking frostbite to our fingers to take out our cameras. As we trudged along a trail, Poet Woman and I caught up on all that has happened in our lives over the last few weeks while her husband ran ahead and took pictures of us, dropping back now and then to join the conversation. Poet Woman and I often talk to each other over email, typing words on our computers in warm houses hundreds of miles apart, but how much easier it was to talk in person, to look at each other's eyes and give each other hugs, our heads bent against the fierce wind, taking turns to walk in front and shield each other from the cold.