A brilliant sun drenched late winter's day. The kind of day where there isn't a cloud in the sky so the winds make up for it. The cold air is ever-present, the old white snow lays flat and smooth on the ground. The winds carry the fine dust in low dances from time to time. My son says it looks like steam, as it whips up and off the land. Walked for some time, us two. Stopped at a deserted playground on a hill. Often I bring a thermos of coffee on walks, we sat and shared a couple biscotti.
I watch him and I look up at the sky. A plane or two passes high above in the blue. The trails behind them, so white. I always wonder where they are going, I always think of who is looking out the window down at us, remembering about how many times I've done just that, up there. There is this far off distant lonely kind of connection. Us looking at them and unable to see them. Them - or at least someone has to be gazing out the window - looking at us, unable to see us. The quiet of the winter makes it all feel stronger.
The closed capsule of the plane high in the atmosphere, the closed capsule of ourselves protected under layers of coats, scarves, hats, gloves, mittens. Only the face, the personality, faces the world, each other. In these moments, feelings of closed-ness and yet openness, restriction and freedom merge. Loneliness and connection. It may sound contrived, it isn't. The hardest things to describe are often the most true.
Every Saturday I feel so far from the world that I cannot see. I feel free. Offline, not on the phone, not on the computer, not in the car. I can only reach with my hands. We are off alone, far away in the hinterland, protected and closed, yet open and free. The world shrinks and expands in different ways. It is strange, it is quiet, time stretches. It can't be explained, yet it is.
I am thankful for these things. For the moments we share with each other far away, for the hidden place in time. But also for the clarity and sanity it brings. Everything becomes more clear, everything that matters and is true becomes even more certain and steadfast than it ever was before.
And then we repeat it all again, and again.