Today we're trying a new bread recipe: Vermont cheddar loaf. The dough has been mixed and now is rising. We're hoping it will go well with the leftover ham and bean soup we're reheating this evening. One of the best things I can say about the weather we've been having is that it provides encouragement to fix soups, stews and homemade breads. Of course, some of us would feel just as encouraged if the temperatures bottomed out in the 20s instead of below zero. You know how it is: too much of a "good thing."
horses and hoarfrost
Photo by J. Harrington
Since we're supposed to have a January thaw in about a week, I'm hoping that the air will get supersaturated and the temperature below freezing so we can enjoy some hoar frost. I think it's one of the most beautiful parts of a Minnesota winter, particularly when there are horses in the scene. Bread, soup, January thaw, beauty: life during a Minnesota Winter can be good.
Horses in Snow
They are a gift I have wanted again.Wanted: One moment in mountainswhen winter got so coldthe oil froze before it could burn.I chopped ferns of hoarfrost from all the windowsand peered up at pines, a wedding cakeby a baker gone mad. Swirls by the thousandshimmered above me until a cloudlumbered over a ridge,bringing the heavier white of more flurries.
I believed, I believed, I believedit would last, that when you went outto test the black ice or to dig out a Volkswagonfilled with rich women, you’d returnand we’d sputter like oil,match after match, warm in the making.Wisconsin’s flat farmland never approved:I hid in cornfields far into October,listening to music that whirled from my thumbprint.When sunset played havoc with bright leaves of alders,
I never mentioned longing or fear.I crouched like a good refugee in brown creeksand forgot why Autumn is harder than Spring.But snug on the western slope of that mountainI’d accept every terror, break open sealsto release love’s headwaters to unhurried sunlight.Weren’t we Big Hearts? Through some trick of silverwe held one another, believing each motion the real one,ah, lover, why were dark sources bundled upin our eyes? Each owned an agate,
marbled with anguish, a heart or its echo,we hardly knew. Lips touching lips,did that break my horizonas much as those horses broke my belief?You drove off and I walked the old road,scolding the doubles that wanted so much.The chestnut mare whinnied a cloud into scrub pine.In a windless corner of a corral,four horses fit like puzzle pieces.Their dark eyes and lashes defined by the white.
The colt kicked his hind, loped from the fence.The mares and a stallion galloped behind,lifting and leaping, finding each otherin full accord with the earth and their bodies.No harm ever touched them once they cut loose,snorting at flurries falling again.How little our chances for feeling ourselves.They vanished so quickly—one flick of a tail.Where do their mountains and moments begin?I stood a long time in sharpening wind.
Thanks for visiting. Come again when you can.
Please be kind to each other while you can.