The dryer hums. The night sky glows pink in street lights. Steady snowfall quiets the night.
It has been frigid here nearly two weeks.
Things Montana winter teaches me:
What scarves are for.
How to coax a car to work below single digit temperatures.
When it's too cold for dogs to play outside.
How quickly digits can be frost bitten.
When I need "arctic" rated footwear.
The diamond sparkle of frost on a mountainside.
How a lake ices over.
That sometimes it is too cold to snow.
I've been doing laundry all evening, in the cozy comfort of my little house. By Friday my plants, bedding, and toiletries will be packed and shuffled into storage. The Road.
Wonder. Move. Breathe.
My thru hiking mantra repeats itself again- this time, with many lingering questions marks and many great hopes.
Arabian Dance, and other Nutcracker songs. Soon I will introduce a best friend to one of my favorite Christmas festivities - Nutcracker ballet. I think of the magic of the dance, the music, these moments. I tell her we'll decorate a Christmas tree this weekend.
The journey to find it deepening at each bend in the river.
I will help her build a new home, as I step away from mine into the unknown. She will welcome me into her home as we both navigate new chapters.
As we pack, unpack, each going through these rapids... snow keeps falling.
Breathing. Sighing. Exhaling.
The panic, anxiety, fear.
Under a blanket of clouds nestled into a Rocky Mountain Valley, all is well with our souls. We are warm, loved, and fed. We have enough. Though we dream. Because we believe in the unbelievable... six impossible things before breakfast.
I tell her everything will get better. I tell her for both of us. As the Nutcracker lures and snow settles us, we both begin to nestle into that.
Some holiday, I will decorate a tree in my home. I will have people I love sit around a table, surrounded by walls I decorated, feasting. The unanswered questions won't feel SO big. Wonder, move, breathe, won't include a storage unit and a dog kennel.
We will be home. Our cups will overflow.
In the mean time, my heart rests in the lovely glow of a snowy night. And heart-pulling piano notes.