Winter’s Trick

The raccoons descend upon the house as if preordained. One, underneath the crawl space of the downstairs bedroom. Another (or more?) beneath the main crawl space, where heavy winds have blown out a chunk of insulation, providing a makeshift door and invitation to all things wild and cold on the side of Fork Mountain. A third finds the mudroom door, also blown open by the wind, and tackles the garbage stash spreading it hither and yon.

Flying squirrels (yes) nestle in the roof trap and the stray cat gets booted out of its perch under the upper landing, narrowly escaping attack (from?) with a bent and chewed up tail. A black widow and cricket in the shower, ladybugs on the couch, and daddy long-legs spinning their eternal silk.

What, you might ask, induces such frenzy? The false hope of spring, no doubt. We had several days last week with record breaking temperatures and now, tulip heads peer oddly from the winter duff. It is as though Nature doesn’t quite know what to do with herself at such a juncture, but just when it seems something must be done, winter returns.

Tonight, it’s 15 degrees, below zero with wind chill up at my elevation. A tree hovers over the driveway, stretched lengthwise and mocking my car as I drive beneath it. Another fell across Craft School Road and still another dangled like a loose tooth over Conley Ridge Road. I love how the stars twinkle and crack the sky on nights like this, and how the sound of the spring trickling from the overflow pipe into the lower field sounds as though it were right at my feet.

Tomorrow, anything seems possible.

  • Ralph H.

    dear kety, sorry …

    now i found your comment … it was long time ago …

    Hello. A small group of friends and I are learning “Lashkruli,” a polyphonic son of men who wander the Caucasus Mountains of Georgia. I cannot find a translation anywhere online, but my research tells me this is a popular song. Do you know anything about this? Any info you have would be great.
    Katey Schultz
    You are interesting now … I know some musicians … maybe they can help you … ! regards from Germany, Ralph

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