And so, with acceptance, I declared yesterday the first day of High Country winter. My parka and a beanie were pragmatic-and, dash stylish, I might add, though I'm more anti-fashion than fashionable-Miguel Loco would've been proud. The wind carried that bite to it, which cuts through exposed skin clear down past the marrow. Flurries passed through in the manner of soft floating feathers or stinging barbs of ice. Mist clouds coiled about the mountainsides, Chinese dragons swooping down the jetstream from the Roof of the World and beyond; it was said the storm was borne from the Gulf of Alaska. Later in the afternoon and into the early evening, as the temperature dropped, and the ice solidified upon the Road, it became remedial day as, once more, travelers reacquainted themselves with winter driving.
Sabina did not take my declaration with relish or even mustard, but fished her own parka out of the back room. We spoke of hopping down valley and smacking a coffeehouse for something to do. Some of our first dates were at a coffeehouse near the Temple of the Jinn, in that historic district, where I used to live. We've not gone for a coffee as much up here in our Sahel, but that might just change, and a cold second day of High Country winter is as good an excuse as any.
I was out back with the hounds when the wind kicked up, Tibetan in its countenance. The breeze buffered against my parka and a thin dusting of snow kissed the soles of my boots. I found myself thinking of the Snow Queen, Yuki-Onna, and her particular coldness.
It has been a long time since I've made allowance for the concept of an anthropomorphic deity as anything other than fiction. Be that as it may, I considered reminding the goddess of winter that I am in possession of goose-down and Gore-Tex. I thought of mentioning I have acclimatized to the meteorological whims and whiles of this landscape I call home. I kicked around requesting at least one decent snowshoe for the coming winter since last year was a bust in that aspect.
Whether or not my considered dialogs were heard is a matter of one's superstition. With a shrug, I went back inside for the fire and the last of my morning tea. Along the way, I thought of getting my snowshoes ready just in case.