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Ramble with Storm: Happiness & snow physics

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storm3x Mulling things on my morning ramble

with Storm, the family's mixed Lab.

The arctic fog rolled in as the meathead and I finished up our full mile and a half ramble.

I had hoped fog had rolled through overnight, but it hadn't. Scattered hoarfrost hung on trees and brush, but nothing like the spectacular beauty of Sunday morning.

All the same, the near-dawn was memorable in its own uniqueness, nearly bright as day with a near full moon in the western sky and the early light to the east.

In the surprisingly sharp light on a frosty morning near 10 (this December a calm morning near 10 only qualifies as frosty), I realized I was happy.

Happiness is not something I think I achieve often or really strive for too often.

Yet, I realized I was happy.

Some of it was the mechanics of life had fallen into place for a change.

Holidays are a struggle for me. I need to do my work same as any other week. But with Christmas and New Year's Day on Saturdays, work falls into regular times.

And I already have all my interviews and photos for the Sunday column done. The work day should go quickly today.

Quick enough that I hope we can do a family run tonight to the Christkindlmarket Chicago in Daley Plaza.

But it was more than that, more than just work falling into place.

I find myself enjoying winter more.

Maybe I have simply learned to balance my life, force myself to get outside and soak up natural light rather than fall into the slog of darkness and unnatural light that plagued my younger years.

Some of it was an odd decision to look up Wallace Stevens' poem, Sea Surface Full of Clouds, one of my favorites.

From the opening:

In that November off Tehuantepec,
The slopping of the sea grew still one night
And in the morning summer hued the deck

And made one think of rosy chocolate
And gilt umbrellas. Paradisal green
Gave suavity to the perplexed machine

Of ocean, which like limpid water lay

To the snap off of the ending:

Then the sea
And heaven rolled as one and from the two
Came fresh transfigurings of freshest blue.

The snow had changed.

I don't fully understand the physics of it, but in most areas, the crispy crunch of the icy crust on top of the snow had softened from yesterday morning into something more treadable and without all the racket.

Mine were still the only human prints on the back side of the island.

I noticed some of the snow in full sun retained the crunch. I have a fair understanding of science, but can't figure that one out.

Nor can I understand that the passing flurry yesterday morning, enough to barely whiten sidewalks and roads briefly, gave enough snow that a few of my tracks were drifted back to a natural state.

As I finish typing, the arctic fog vanished again, the sun shines sharply.

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This page contains a single entry by Dale Bowman published on December 23, 2010 8:01 AM.

Illinois Outdoor Hall of Fame: 2011 class was the previous entry in this blog.

Spence Petros: December fishing update & thoughts is the next entry in this blog.

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