Friday, December 26, 2008

Art

A roaring snow dragon has descended upon Dove Creek. The typical high winds found on this desert plain blow the white crystals in horizontally recreating the landscape into a Saharan snow desert. The roads, paths, ditches, mounds and holes are no longer visible and have been replaced by glistening waves and blinding dunes carved by the ever-changing winds. Roads are barely distinguishable from the ditches and farmlands creating an expansive snow ocean. A drive in these conditions looks like you've just put your ship into 'warp speed' with the flakes resembling galaxies coming at your windshield. Already, our car has been pulled into one of those white glittery tidal waves on the side of the road and has had to be towed out.

When walking in it, care is taken with every step, as one can be sucked down into a hole disguised by a snow mound. More than once, all of us have had to crawl out on our knees from one of those sink holes. It borders on ridiculous, but as it is still novel to me, it cracks me up. As one local said, winters here can be intense. I feel like that word is over-used, but can't figure out a better way of expressing it, except with a crazy laugh.

Under these conditions, I've not been able to take long desert walks. Even short walks can be exhausting due to the careful placement of each step and at times falling in up to your thighs. However, I'm fascinated by the animal tracks made more visible by the snow. Although deer and elk have always been in plain sight, most other animals remained hidden. The snow now reveals abundant rabbit and coyote tracks leading to dens once buried from view.

I am again struck by the hardiness of the folks living in this environment. During the winter, locals are always prepared for being stranded and keep snow boots, a sleeping bag and flash light in their cars. Here, Mother Nature takes no prisoners. Some feel the extreme weather helps to evolve one's character. The hot summers and cold winters burn or freeze off layers of protection that no longer serve your soul and the high winds blow the baggage away.

After living here for 5 months, I'm certain I was a swamp thing in a former life. I'm one of those folks who loves riding their bike in 98 degrees and 80% humidity. To me, that's not work. As I told this to a local, she said that what I had needed was to be in an environment that pushed my edges in order to progress, as significant change doesn't occur when you're comfortable.

If this environment teaches me any thing about life, it's to surrender. Surrender and you will be molded into something beautiful, strong, ever-changing and somewhat unpredictable - truly a piece of art.

Winter on steroids

Our car is eaten by a 10-foot wind-blown snow wave.





A view from the livingroom window.

Friday, December 12, 2008

As the snow flies

Though we've already had a few snow showers, the storm this week has become the 'snow that won't melt until the Spring', or so we've been told. Strange concept for a girl from the South.

Waking up this morning, outside it looked like the froth from the top of a cafe latte had poured down from the heavens and landed on every willing and unwilling surface.

Already the quietest place on Earth, the snow has added a dimension of deafening sound that demands one become at ease with their thoughts.