Sunday, September 05, 2004

But I was sleeping...

At least I was trying to sleep. No, I was sleeping and having a wonderful dream when the phone rang in my dream, slowly pulling me away from the center of the action, from the wonderful dream I was having, but it was real. A faint bell ringing. The phone again. I stirred in the darkness, caught between waking and sleeping. The phone was ringing. Who would call me in the middle of the night. Sudden flash. Trouble. I got up and stumbled to the living room, but the phone had stopped ringing. Maybe I was dreaming after all. I picked up the phone and looked. The number was still lit up. [info]elementalmuse's number was on the phone. But my phone card has no more minutes and I couldn't call her back.

Something must be wrong for her to call me at 2 in the morning. She didn't call back. I fretted, tossed and turned courting sleep, fretting over what could be wrong. Good news? Bad news? Should I go upstairs and check my email? No, I want to go back to sleep. I want my dream back. But something could be wrong. What should I do? Sleep, some part of me whispered in my ear. If it was important she would have called back. Sleep, yes, sleep. But no, something could be wrong. So go online and check your email. But it's cold out there and it's warm here with a lovely cold breath of mountain air seeping thru the open window. Sleep and don't worry. Everything will work out all right.

I checked my email. Nothing. I went back to bed and finally managed to fall asleep. Usually, I have no problems. I can sleep any time anywhere and in just about any position.

Sweet dreams followed and I plunged head first into the deep warm well of Morpheus's making. Until...

A siren? Up here? In the year I've lived here, and when I visited for two weeks, I never heard sirens. I hear trucks and cars going by below my hilltop perch, but I don't hear anything else. No sirens. No screams. The occasional gunshot. But no sirens.

Someone or something is determined to disturb my sleep, forcing me to open my eyes and crawl from my cocoon of warmth and peace. The siren was coming closer and closer. It has been so long I can't tell an emergency vehicle from a police car. The siren was definitely coming closer, the sound caroming off the rocks and trees, waning, getting louder as it wound around the curves up the hill closer and closer. Then the sound seemed to fade a little at a time. He must have turned off on Elkdale and wound down the other side.

And then it hit me. The world outside my window, usually green and gold and suffused with morning blues and whites and pastels of the rising sun was wrong. It didn't look right. It was all white. Snow? Yes, it's snowing. Little salt shaker falls of white sifting onto everything. It's actually snowing. White world, green and gold and browns peering thru the thickening cover of white.

My plants! I'll lose my plants!

I got up and got dressed. Didn't brush my teeth or my hair. Didn't take a shower, just pulled on my clothes and shoes and headed for the deck where my plants were bowed beneath the growing weight of snow. Wet, heavy, water laden snow quickly obscured my plants.

Carrying the hummingbird feeder, I hung it on the bar and went to my plants. Were they dead? Frozen? I took the dill stalks and shook them. Snow flew everywhere and the scent of dill rose in a grateful cloud. Dill. I carried it inside and placed it in the wan sunlight in front of the doors near my telescope. One by one, I shook off the heavy enveloping frosty blanket and carried my plants inside. I'm sure some will die, but at least I won't have to water them today. The snow fast melting in the warmth inside the cabin will take care of that for me.

This has been the most freakish year, full of rain and cold and snow. Snow until June and now snow in September. At least the ski runs, if this continues, will open early, intoning their siren's call to snowbirds and winter seekers, those who circle the globe following the Snow Queen, fearing spring and summer and the warmth that drives her dripping into the northern latitudes far from the punishment of sun and heat.

At least my headache is gone. I thought it was just another big thunder storm forking the sky with vivid fireworks of lightning flares and flashes and strikes on its way, but it was the herald of the Snow Queen. Now I know I have to get the wood pile cut and stacked and clear out the ashes from the stove. Winter will be early this year.

Squirrels and chipmunks leap and cavort and chase across the deepening white, enjoying the snow day. I wonder if they have foreseen this and have raided my plants and crops to store for their winter snacking comfort.

My warm dreams are gone in the wake of the cold awakening. I am awake now, but I'm not really happy about it. At least I saved the plants and my eyes are open, but I don't guarantee anything else. I can't. My functional mind hasn't caught up with the animal instinct yet.

If it doesn't find me, maybe I can slip away and slip back between the sheets to seek those warm dreams again.

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