Today really looks like winter outside. Feels like it, too. A high, dark lenticular cloud arcs overhead. C.J. Box describes a cloud like that as a lid over the pot of the world. It’s been quite a while since I’ve read one of his Joe Pickett mysteries, but that metaphor sticks with me.
Bright blue bands along the horizon promise sunshine … elsewhere. Here: white on the ground, gray in the sky, and bare, black branches against them both.
At dawn I pulled a hat over my ears, layered on another wool sweater and sat on the back step watching the world come into focus through the steam drifting from my coffee cup. Even the birds were quiet. The cold air smelled of wood smoke.
Inside, lettuce seedlings stretch toward the pale light, offering the hope of at least a few fresh salads out of season. Tiny yellow narcissus bloom in fragrant clusters. A paper bag full of blushing hyacinth bulbs sits on the kitchen counter. Cheese the Cat hunkers on the window seat, nose pressed to the glass, the tip of his tail flicking at the antics of the finches in the crabapple tree.
Things are quiet, not dead. Resting. Slower, but still vibrant. Because of that, winter is the ideal writing time. Hours open up at the same time the attention draws inward. I’ve plunged into a new book, part of a project I’ll say more about later. Sophie Mae – and other characters – wait quietly for me to make some decisions. The light on the desk in my office is on 24/7.
The room feels so full of possibility, ideas, stories and words waiting to be set down on the page that I’m tempted to close the door each time I leave so they won’t escape.
But I don’t. And they’re still there when I return.