Clouds: not the foreign thunderheads that global warming has brought us, but real Oregon clouds, blurs of shifting silver, white, gray. The rumpled covers of winter, who has just opened an eye and checked the clock, before rolling over and getting in that last hour's sleep.
How quickly it all runs away, winter after summer after winter! Feeling I need to set the house of my spirit in order. I have been gone too long, and everything is untidy and askew. This breath of winter is unsettling, disturbing, exciting. I am ready to work.
I have not taken much seriously, in this life: it's so short, and the sides are so steep. But I do want to make a few things while I'm here.
I need to be careful, to guard my tongue and my time. Too much has gotten away from me: I spend too much time chasing my chickens back into their coop.
This strange, translucent convalescence continues. I grow stronger and steadier every day. I spend my time pounding stakes into the ground and marking them with orange blazes, making approximations, waiting for my surveying gear to arrive. I know the ground pretty well, now. Soon I'll be ready to start.
These days, when I come to the top of a rise or turn a corner, and pause to take in the new country, I find that word on my lips. "Soon now," I mutter. "Soon."