“…the snow is white where lies three forts”

This morning I came downstairs to another world. The same fire, yes; the kitchen warm and yellow-walled. But so much snow outside!

new world

I filled the bird feeder and immediately the chickadees swarmed it, appearing out of nearby trees. I could see our tracks on the driveway, softened by the night’s fall. We drove down to Vancouver on Monday to have dinner with our son Brendan who was at UBC for a few days to do some math. When we drove home yesterday, the highway was whited out just past west Sechelt but then we realized we were following a snow-plow. Wasn’t that fortuitous? And when we got closer to Madeira Park, we saw two snow-plows pulled over by the hardware store. So we pulled over too. One of the guys came to our Element and said the other guy was just working on his wind-screen (we saw him to into the hardware store and return with a long brush and scraper) but if we wanted to wait, we could trail them all the way home. What an invitation. Here’s our guide at Misery Mile, the part of the highway that winds along past Gunboat Bay.

Misery Mile

We had to park down by the highway but we were prepared for that; the sleigh was in the back of the car. We tromped up the driveway to the house, pulling the groceries on the sleigh. Most years we get a little snow in winter but not usually this much. And it’s cold. Not minus 46 as it was in Nazko when my brother called the other day. Luckily the power hasn’t gone out, though we have candles, oil lamps, and our trusty woodstove in that event. But the world is different, even though the news is the same. Quiet, white, the old familiar landmarks hidden.

A Wilderness View

In the western mountains the snow is white where lies three forts
In the south, the Wanli Bridge crosses the vast Jinjiang River
Oh, the wind and dust keep me from my brothers, and
The edge of heaven ends in tears, as I am so far away
And the future offers only many ills and the stay of the sunset
To the imperial court, I have less use than a speck of dust
Yet, astride my horse I sally forth to the open country
No man can endure the chaos of the world      

–Du Fu




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