Gifts of Winter

It snowed yesterday morning while I slept. I stepped out of my apartment to a proper winter landscape, an inch of snow covering the cars and trees, lending a ghostly quality to the black morning. The air was crisp and fresh in my lungs. I recalled the trees by the big church that I pass on the way home from buying Vietnamese food. They fully flowered a few days ago, and at the time, I’d wondered what would happen to them when the March snows come. Well, the March snow came.

It’s melted away by now, but the weather is still frigid. I bundled up in a sweater and wool socks, then drove 40 minutes north to visit my parents. My mother had just returned from a trip to Iceland and had tales to tell. We settled into my parents’ dining room for home-cooked omelettes, bacon, and flatbread; slices of fresh fruit; and pastries from a nearby bakery. Mom showed us the pictures she took on her GoPro camera and laughed about the misfortunes and highlights of her four-day adventure. She brought back t-shirts, Icelandic chocolate, and other trinkets as souvenirs. I even received a pair of woollen gloves trimmed with real fur. They are the warmest gloves I’ve ever worn.

That white box has tea bags inside with ginger, angelica, and a “carefully selected herbal blend with a magic touch of wild Icelandic herbs.” Though it’s intended for illness and I’m feeling fine, I brewed myself a mug when I returned home. On advice from a friend, I steeped the tea for only five minutes so the angelica wouldn’t become bitter, then mixed in a teaspoon of wildflower honey. The result was a deliciously mild herbal taste, slightly sweet, without any bitter medicinal flavors. I enjoyed the mug at my leisure.

Dan is visiting his grandmother today, so I’m home alone with no other obligations until he returns. I rarely have long stretches of free time at home on weekends anymore. On one hand, it means I have a thriving social life. On the other hand, my introverted self has become more stressed recently with the lack of sufficient solitude. So these moments alone, these long hours to myself, come with a sigh of relief. Today, I will finish the book on Lenormand I’ve been reading (Lenormand Thirty Six Cards: An Introduction to the Petit Lenormand by Andy Boroveshengra) and work on my own custom deck. Naturally, its theme is “a good death” with plenty of skull and death imagery. I am nothing if not predictable.

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