It is Saturday and the trees are encased in ice. We slept with our bedroom window open, and in the deep stillness of night, I was startled awake by the sound of a loud crash. I thought it was drunk students knocking over garbage cans, and then we heard soft voices in the parking lot. A tree limb, heavy with ice, had fallen onto a car.
My legs are crossed at the cafe table by the kitchen window. Morning light shines in. This is my favorite place to sit. On the smooth round table are my earthenware coffee mug, a cup of ice water, my prompt box, an orchid, and a copy of A Land Remembered — my current Florida read. The fridge hums. The half-loaded dishwasher stands open. I hear my husband shuffle paper in the living room. Tear a check out of a checkbook. Occasionally, he clears his throat. A kettle of pinto beans clinks and groans on the stove. The glass lid beads with steam.
I’ve got the kitchen window cracked. It is inches from my body, and I feel icy January air on my hip. The air smells clean and cold and damp. A heavy drop of water splats on the window stool. Further away I hear gentle dripping on wet soil, on cement, on pavement. The ice in the trees crackles softly, and branches sway slowly under a shimmering weight. Liquid pools in the blacktop parking lot and on our cement stoop. The ground is too warm to freeze liquid into solid, but the air is not. A stirring of wind knocks crystal shards from high branches; ice clatters against our windows. I see tiny snow flakes fall among raindrops. The weather is raw today.
I think I’ll go outside.