Snow slipping in on us from the east, past the apple tree’s bare branches, clinging to the fir boughs. We are snug in the shed, momma and Woods in the window seat “wrapped up!” as Woods says, in a faux fur throw, surrounded by pillows.
And here are the sounds of home: the ever-present hum of the refrigerator, the tick of Mannie’s old pocket watch, jazz drifting from the tinny iPhone speaker, the creak of this 200-year-old chair when I sit back and cross my legs. There is the roar of earth surrounding our half-buried sanctuary, a bass so deep and velvety it can’t be heard.
We have tequila. Ocho Blanco, which tastes like the desert, a wild rose’s papery bloom, a goshawk’s wings in the moonlight.
Something about the time right after dinner, after Woods is asleep, makes me want to sit straight, wear boots. It makes me want to smoke, for the alchemy of turning flame, paper and earth into air. It makes me want to peer through the windows at the people here, at us, these strangers with a toddler, curled up on a plywood bed in a shed in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains.
Perhaps that’s why the fox stops by at sunset, curious and unafraid, to witness this unfolding thing that will eventually stop, and return to whatever it was before we came.