A Winter Morning

A winter morning in northern latitudes: pale blue snow highlights the angle of each roof. Two dry leaves swoop and flutter like moths. A lone doe ambles down the street, like any other neighbor on her way to work. No doubt she has already foraged in my yard. I leave plants around the front of the house for the deerfolk to browse, because this small parcel of land was theirs before it was mine, and I feel a little guilty about the fencing in and doling out of what once flowed seamlessly from forest to gorge. Home is where the heart is, we say, rubbing the flint of one abstraction against another. A house can be a simple shelter, but home is the carapace of one’s inner life. Heavy idealized, it includes a foundation, insulation, and all the right tools for every real and imaginary calamity.

Diane Ackerman, from Dawn Light