Thought I’d take the dog out this morning, as the weather prognosticators are suggesting that it might be rather inclement for the next week, starting this afternoon. If by inclement, they mean ‘ugly’ then it’s already started. The older I get, the more I hate cloudy days. Storms blowing in on bruised cummulonibi are thrilling. A dark and brooding heaven pleases me; a featureless sky emptied of colour does not. There have been many times when I’ve walked in the woods under a sheet of white and felt its soothing, strangely intimate effect; the landscape simplified to a few points of interest instead of the usual array of sensual distractions. I am focused, and mindful of my surroundings in a way that’s impossible on a ‘louder’ day. Most of the time though, an overcast sky feels oppressive, as if the sun hasn’t been out for days when in fact it may have shone brightly just the day before. It sucks the blue right out of my memory.
In any case, in spite of the blank sheet of paper impersonating the sky, Maggie and I slid our way down to the power line and into the ravine. We met Rusty, one of Maggie’s friends, a beautiful Nova Scotia Duck Toller. They had a little play, and then the little orange dog tried to hump Maggie, so we carried on with our walk. (Speaking of being focused.) Usually at some point during a walk on a cold day, I’ll warm up, but I felt cold for the entire hour. Maybe I wasn’t exerting myself enough, with most of my energy being diverted to staying upright, but I think the dreary landscape kept my internal furnace from firing, draining it of fuel. I’ll be happy if it does snow, as forecast. The grey patchwork of old, hard ice is an ugly thing to behold on cold, January day. A little softening would be welcome.