Turkey Tracks In The Snow
I love snow. I’ve entertained myself this past month with snow-themed colorway names. Cardinals in the Snow. Frosty Morning Glitter. Sunrise on Snow. Winter Grasses. Shadowed Snow Tracks. Winter Woods. Blood on the Snow…ugh. Sorry. It’s been a challenging week here at the farm. In the dead of winter, the wild things move closer, driven by hunger to hunt even at the edge of my yard. Their activity has eaten into my writing time, my knitting time…and fed my imagination.
I stare at the computer screen, note that it’s as white as the snow-covered fields outside and the next thing I know, I’m staring out the window. The dogs bark, and I seize the excuse to suit up in warm layers and follow them across the fields to see what they’ve discovered. An armadillo this afternoon, an injured duck yesterday that barely escaped the clutches of a bobcat. We’ve a cougar in the area, too, though thus far I’ve found no sign of it hunting on my land. Believe me, I’ve looked. I wander in the company of my dogs for hours, studying the snow, imagining myself in wilder times and places, straddling the line between reality and the fiction I’ll write when I return to the warmth of my office. Time rolls by, and I don’t even mind that the list of to-do’s isn’t getting done. It’s not that I’m not doing…I am. Stuff happens and I deal with it. I’m in reactive mode, though, in process.
Winter is my thinking time, my time of restoration and renewal. Much like the land around me, I rest. I wait . . . and watch, and consider, and gather what I need to prepare myself for the season to come. I learn, plan, and figure out how to do better this year than I did last year.
I knit and frog, knit and frog. I’m not satisfied with the selvedges on the swatches I’m making for the Masters II class. So I’ve been practicing. Knit and rip, knit and rip, and with each attempt, the selvedges look a bit better. I started a new aran sweater pattern and haven’t quite figured out a slipped stich sequence at the center back – it actually looks a lot like my selvedges, and that’s not good. And so again, I knit and rip, but that’s okay. Each attempt looks better than the one before.
It’s the same with my writing. I’m trying on a new genre and feeling my way. I’m not sure yet how the pieces will fit together, and what parts I’ve written aren’t pretty or elegant. Those long rambles through the snow with the dogs knock loose the cobwebs in my mind, and each return translates to pages written after dark. The day’s adventures weave themselves into the fabric of this new story, for good or ill. Patterns in the snow, patterns in the knit fabric, patterns in the story I’m weaving. It’ll all come together and make sense eventually. I hope.