it's good to be home when the snow starts. i woke up this morning and it had just begun. within a few minutes it had powder coated the concrete in that familiar bend in the road outside my house. i drank tea and watched it fall out the steamy windows. i turned up the music and danced on the wood floor in my socks and felt a bit like a ballerina in a snowglobe. it's funny how something so cold could make you feel so warm inside. in my longjohns and stocking cap and rubber boots and wool sweater i worked with james to get the three woodstove fires that heat our home roaring to consistent and comfortable. i looked outside some more and saw a bird flit on the windowsill, hard pressed to find food in the arctic tundra. i filled each of the three feeders out back. later, when i saw four friendly rats climbing around chewing gleefully on the black oil seeds, i couldn't help but enjoy their acrobatic cuteness. i was glad for their feast on my behalf, imagining how many creatures have to face this brutal cold, and what they have to do to adapt.
i didn't mind feeding those little rats, evidenced by tunnels all around the garden, because that would keep them from under the barn, or in the cupboards. they need food and shelter, just like everybody else, and they have as much of a right to live here on this planet as i do. i remembered the time i found a nest, under a goose decoy, decorated with little scraps of cloth and straw and plastic. it was adorable, and obviously cozy, and i felt kind of awful to displace the guy. there was something familiar about that rat's nest; maybe it's because my house is busy and cluttered in a chaos that i find comfortable and cozy too.
we all need shelter and warmth in inclement weather. when i was visiting the city, i was reminded of this again. i was walking along on a torrentially rainy day, noticing how every tall building had a rain shadow. sometimes the pigeons would gather there. and the alcoves and entrances to many of the buildings were filled with sleeping bags, blankets, tarps and cardboard. we all need to make our nests and hunker down, somewhere. we all deserve a warm place to sleep. seeing those folks making a home from nothing, barely scraping by using garbage as a resource and just trying to get through another day, i was reminded: i am so fortunate.