under the ford bridge and back
0 degrees / feels like -9
75% ice and snow-covered
Brrr. This isn’t the coldest run I’ve done this year, but it felt like it! Well, most of me was fine, just not my feet or my forehead. Running into the frigid wind, I got a brain freeze. A mile in, I had mostly warmed up. The path was in terrible shape. All uneven with long sheets of slick ice. I never worried about falling, but I got tired of moving all around the path trying to find bare patches.
I thought about Bernadette Mayer and her list of experiments, especially this one: “attempt writing in a state of mind that seems less congenial” (Please Add to This List, 12). Extreme cold + uneven, icy paths + lots of layers = less congenial. I wondered how these conditions affected what and how I noticed the gorge.
10+ Things I Noticed
- crunching snow, loud and brittle
- the smell of smoke from the usual chimney (the one on edmund that I always smell every winter)
- the river, half frozen, half open, all cold-looking
- the path, 1: almost completely covered in snow and ice
- the path, 2: the ice is flat and smooth and light brown
- the path, 3: an occasional bare strip, sometimes what I thought was bare was actually brownish grayish ice
- at least 2 other runners — we held up our hands in greeting
- 2 or 3 walkers — all bundled up, faces covered up to the eyes
- the buzzing of a chainsaw, laboring in the cold — workers trimming dead branches at Minnehaha Academy
- looking across the ravine from the double bridge, noticing someone dressed in dark colors walking along the retaining wall at the top of the overlook
- haunting wind chimes
- the sizzling of dead leaves on a neighbor’s tree
- the sharp scratch of another dead leaf as the wind blew it across the sidewalk
At the end of my run, walking back home, I marveled at the chattering birds, sounding like spring. I saw them, not their details, just their movements, fluttering, swooping, soaring, flashing. Then I heard the distinctive knocking of a woodpecker on some dead wood. Before I had a chance to enjoy the sound, the beep beep beep of truck backing up silenced the bird.
- 2 pairs of black running tights
- 2 pairs of socks
- a green long-sleeved shirt
- a pink jacket with hood
- a thicker gray jacket
- a gray buff
- 1 pair of black gloves
- 1 pair of pink/red/orange mittens, wool and fleece combo
- a fleece-lined cap with brim
Lots of layers!
Oh, I needed this run! What a difference it makes for my mental health to get outside and move.
This morning, I happened upon this beautiful prose poem:
The Year We Fell in Love with Moss/ Sally Baker
We made our bed in its mounds and all our furniture was covered in mossy baize. We swam through velvet-lined tunnels, swagged ourselves in greenness all winter. It was the green of pond algae, the painted shed at the bottom of the old garden, kale, tourmaline, the needlecord skater’s dress I wore in 1979. It was the emerald brilliance of moray eels, of tree snails; pea soup green. We were moss creatures, felted deep in woods. It was the first plant on earth, at least four hundred and fifty million years old, its rhizoids like a forest of stars, rootless, absorbing moisture and minerals from rain, surviving in the harshest of climates. We became bryophyliacs, singing hymns in the sunken moss cathedrals, while light through the leaves flickered over us in waves, like signals, as if we’d been blessed. I believed moss could live forever. You told me about the Barghest who haunted the valley, could turn you to stone with a look.
I need to add this to my growing list of green poems!