"I dream of a hard and brutal mysticism in which the naked self merges with the nonhuman world and somehow survives...Paradox and bedrock."-Edward Abbey

28 January 2010


There was but a dusting of fresh powder to start the day. just enough to make the accumulated snow look fresh and clean. It's getting on that time of year when the snow on ground is crusted and dirty, tinted by road dust and the soot from a season of burning fires. Only when one goes out into the bush does the snow still look white.

Not too long ago, my sister was telling me how the ski areas up and over did not have the best conditions. Here, on the other side, our local ski area was getting dumped on. Looking straight west, I can see to the Roof of the World, and use this vantage as a bit of a weather gage. That frontier, that bit of demarcation, which marks where the continent splits in half, carries a certain sense of magic and balance and, sometimes, all the difference between storm and sun, one season or another, night and day.

Up and over, and further to the south, has been where a good deal of the recent snows have fallen. Ski areas rejoice and snowpack for runoff increases. At a guess, there'll be plenty of water for the farms and wineries along the western slope. In the American Maghreb, water is quite the precious commodity. Some places moreso than others.

Whilst I've not heard or read anything about the water table being below average on this side of the Roof of the World, it hasn't seemed to have snowed as much. I suppose I should qualify that; in our little Sahel, surrounded by its tall and sheer peaks, the snow doesn't stick around quiet as long. Or, perhaps, the snow does not have much to adhere to as up and over, or even in wider and flatter valleys east of the smaller tunnels, which mark that end our Sahel. And I have heard that some places further east, borough townships in the greater metroplex, or parts of the badlands of the plains, have gotten more snow than us here.

Not that I worry. My Kashmir being just ten miles east of the Roof of the World, and along a river, is in a wetland. The House of Owls and Bats was built upon what was once a beaver bog, before it became cattle pasture for. There are points during the spring runoff when parts of backyard squish, or there's standing water. Supposedly, this is a great place to garden. Just about anything can grow in the black, rich soil. A supposition we mean to test come spring.

Looking out at the powder, I can imagine some of the local snowbums are happy. Even some of the ones who come from further-flung locals. Not being into skiing or snowboarding, I cannot say it makes much difference to me other than from the auspice of water. I'd rather not have to deal with wildfires come summer.

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