The coming year is sparking. Potential. Idea rubbing on idea. Soon: a flame. The number thirteen stands falsely accused.
Has the winter tricked us? It spent months playing at fall, and now, at the end of January, it is showing itself for the first time. The ground is frozen hard (and yet the moles still throw up mounds of dirt, the ground we walk on must be riddled with tunnels), and snow has tucked it in for a sleep that might last until April. We are going to have to order more firewood.
Two construction sites (Wägen in the making) stand, shivering naked skeletons, on the lawn. People stay inside, and you can go for days without running into a neighbor, though there are foot prints in the snow and the children leave their sleds at the bottom of the hill. Somewhere, a trampoline is creaking.
The shrunken world of winter—a single red Wagen, one 2m by 7m length of space—feels tight, cozy, chaotic. The potential for claustrophobia is enormous. But it doesn’t come, and there is nowhere else I want to be.
In the middle of the night, the wood stove that has smoldered for hours bursts into sudden flame and dances light across the walls. The baby has woken me up, pawing for food, and we fall asleep stomach to stomach to the sound of fire devouring air.
Photo by the lovely JP.