This morning, the thermometer dipped to -35C. During the course of my life, I have never experienced temperatures this cold.
There is no Wind. The Land is still, shatteringly beautiful, and very silent. I haven't seen a Bird or a Squirrel for days.
The deep blue of the Sky against the differing shades of white Snow is an artist's dream. Sometimes, it looks to me as if the very Air is blue.
Surfaces feel fragile, as I walk around the ploughed areas of our property. It feels as if I am walking on an enormous field of shattered shards of glass...the frozen Snow sticks to my boots and will build up, if I don't shake my foot.
The silence is punctuated, at times, by branches that crack sharply in the cold. There is Wind in the forecast, and I pray for the Standing Beings...with temperatures this cold, there will be breakage, with the subsequent power outages, and a Wind Chill temperature I don't want to think about.
As I crunch upon the packed Snow and Ice on the ploughed driveway, I watch the dogs. Their playfulness, when Snow first arrived, weeks ago, has been dampened by the cold. The pads of their feet have not hardened, and they walk gingerly, fearful of the pain that occurs. They look at me with puzzlement in their eyes. The Sun is out, ...they tell me...Yet it is still so very cold!
It is only a few minutes before one dog, then another, begins to limp, begins to hold his feet off the packed Snow. They are learning to do their business quickly, these days!
After I insist the dogs go inside, ignoring their abject countenances, I continue on my walk. I cannot go far as yet, but the fields of Snow are close to being frozen enough where they will hold my weight. Snowshoes once more come to mind.
I find the most difficult part of the deep cold is the sunny weather that goes along with it. The dogs are not alone. The Sun beckons, reaching his long arms through the Window, with the pretence of warmth. I want to go outside; every cell in my body will not believe it is really this cold, with Sun pulling at me.
And yet, it is. Even with proper clothing...layers of it...there is a limit to the amount of time even I can be outside. But I suppose I will challenge the cold over and over again...it is just too bright and cheerful...and seductive...to be ignored.
There appears to be no end in sight for the Arctic blast which covers the province; Christmas will be very white this year, especially in the Cariboo. Driving could be treacherous, I muse to myself...I will have to make sure the survival package is in the car before we head to the Coast on Christmas Day.
I look down at our home from the top of the driveway. Small and compact, there are no drafts anywhere inside. I am so grateful Graham managed to find a smaller home, amongst the large homes for sale at the time. I cannot imagine what a heating bill would look like here, for a large home not heated with Wood.
And with that thought, I think of the fireplace. I think of the Big Chair and Ottoman, I think of a warming cup of Tea...with one of those delectable Tarts I made yesterday.
I think of how my legs appear to be stiffening in place. My joints cannot fight this cold, even with layers of clothing.
It is time to go in.
But only until the seductive Sun once more reaches inside the house with his long fingers, and beckons to us, with his wicked Winter grin.