Zoya Saltonstall

Zoya Saltonstall

Today at work, I watched the snowflakes falling gracefully from the sky. I returned to my computer to do my typing, distracted. The snow hypnotized me. If the past two winters have taught me one thing, it is to appreciate every delicious white flake falling from the sky. My daughter loves to stick her tongue out and chase them. Catch them. As I returned to my computer, my thoughts were on school recess and the imagined squeals of delight from all the kids as they discover so much snow on the playground.

For the past two winters, the east coast was blasted with snow storm after snow storm. Meanwhile, Kodiakians have endured winters of rain. And slush. And more rain. As we saw on the pictures of tunnels of snow out on the east coast, I yearned for just a little bit of the white stuff to brighten our darkness.

In the summer Kodiakians are in the garden, or on the water, on in the mountains, or on their decks. With so much light, we have to make ourselves come inside for bedtime.

And then before we know it, fall arrives and school starts. Schedules change. There are animals to be harvested, berries to be picked, fish to be canned. And we slide right into Winter. A time for retreat, for returning to ourselves.

Just as the Kodiak bears head to the snowy hillside burrows in preparation for the winter, we have parts of souls, which crave a place of solitude and quiet.

With warm soups, teas, books and crafts it is in our snowy burrows that we can recharge from the summer and fall. A period of gestation of sorts-feeding whatever it is that needs our quiet attention.

After work today I came home and shoveled. It started to sleet and I was glad to get to the snow before it got weighted down. The heaviness of the snow inside the plastic shovel was surprisingly satisfying as I tossed it off the side of the porch. It’s a sensation I haven’t felt for years and I don’t mind one bit if this becomes my work out program this winter.

With the porch cleared off, I went inside and made an Indian soup for dinner. And then lit a candle to sit down and write — admiring the snowy ground outside.

Kodiak resident Zoya Saltonstall is a mother of two and a physical therapist. She loves Labrador retrievers and chocolate.

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