Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Home in Minnesota

It was maybe eleven degrees out, which, by the time it hits mid January around here, isn't too bad, once one accounts for being cold. It was cold. I was cold. I even briefly considered putting on my mittens. I went so far as to think about zipping my coat. Eleven is cold.

I crunched along the snowy path and this time I didn't miss them. Down on the shore ice of the river all the geese in the world were gathered, or at least several hundred of them. They huddled unmoving on the ledge of frozen water, themselves gathered into dense, dark balls. Were they enjoying the warm air rising off the river and flowing over them? I guess so. When it gets really cold I sometimes see the geese floating in the last bits of open water on the river. And why not. If it's still liquid water it has to be at least 33 degrees, doesn't it? That's a whole lot warmer than minus five.

So I walked along in the cold, watching the geese who were doing absolutely nothing, and then suddenly I had an epiphany. It's January! This is actually where these geese have come to overwinter. We are their Winter home. We are their Florida! These geese are on the run from where it's really cold. Canada!

And with that, I kind of opened up. I breathed in the crisp air. I exulted. Seen in the proper context, we are a tropical paradise!

And then the wind picked up a gust of powdery snow and flung it in my face.

That's nothing. You should see what probably happens to people in Canada!

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