The wind that howled across the mountain yesterday no longer shrieks nor drowns out conversation. The relief is almost palpable as the forest life around me resumes to something approaching normalcy.
Yesterday, Dog and I walked right up to a deer at the end of the lane, startling both me and the deer, though Dog reacted faster than either of us and was ready to herd it (as I would say) or chase it (as another might claim). The wind was so loud and from a direction that did not reveal us to be so close until we were nearly on top of it. This morning, we heard the same deer in much the same location, but it also heard us and stomped away before we could see more than the white flag of its tail.
Temperatures are now falling from their record-high levels to near normal ones, as well. Tonight the mountain will fall solidly below freezing again for the first time in nearly a week, though I had skim ice in the puddles this morning. In other words, the local trees likely won’t be affected by this brief warm-up and will go back to slumbering again, if they aren’t already.
So winter is not yet dead, for which I am grateful. In these days of milder winters, normal feels like something of a gift, the gift of one more season where the forest can continue as it has for millennia, where the threat of climate change is for the moment still more threat than reality in my little corner of the forest.
Normal is relative, of course, but I take what comfort I can find, where I can find it.