“We should go for a walk in the snow!” I say.
Jay looks at me like I’m crazy. We’ve just finished dinner, it’s 9:00 at night, and everyone knows the civilized thing to do is put CJ to bed, pour another glass of wine and slip into an easy chair.
Still, we have snow… so much snow… and I’ve spent the day quarantined in a basement bedroom with a basket propped against the door and my ear jammed to the telephone receiver. I need AIR.
The night is cool and crisp. The sky is clear. Icicles hang from the eaves and the trees glimmer with a shimmery ice glaze.
We walk to a nearby lake that is circled by a walking path and a series of parks. Usually at this time of night, it’s dark and creepy. But tonight the snow reflects the city lights, giving off a warm yellow glow, and the blanket of white gives everything a virginal feeling. This is a night where nothing bad can happen.
I slip off Bella’s leash and she leaps and twirls in the powdery snow. Tonight is not a night for leashes.
The park is dotted with the lumpy forms of leftover snowmen. A couple approaches us, their dog bounding through the snow.
Ahead we see shapes of people gliding over the snow on skis.
Everything looks bigger and smaller all at once… more connected. The lines between path and dirt and grass are gone and there is only white.
“Mommy, mommy LOOK! An igloo!”
Sure enough, off to the side of the path is a real-live igloo. We walk over to peer inside, not prepared for what we find.
Twelve people, at least, huddled around a campfire.
“Mommy, they’re smoking,” CJ whispers, horrified.
It’s true. The sweet smell of marijuana drifts out to tickle my nose.
“Come in!” says a young woman with impossibly big eyes, “Join us!”
We continue on, stopping to chat with people as we go. Bella lays down in the snow. She’s tired. We turn around.
On our way back, the igloo is surrounded by people holding sparklers. They crackle and sizzle and pop. I breathe in the smoky aroma.