> jumping into life.

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Two days ago we had a few teasing flurries of snow, mixed in with smatterings of hail and undaunted sun. Yesterday the clouds reigned, and began sending down fluffly benedictions by late morning. My ex called, and we went on a reconciliatory hike up Aspen Creek. Partway up the first hill, we are called to a halt by a creaking, creaking sound: a Ponderosa snag, looking recently-dead, lurching drunkenly in the wind. Probably beetle-killed, like most of the pines around here these days. We spend a moment watching it before realizing that we are standing precisely where it would most likely fall, were it in the falling kind of mood. The wind howls, and both our eyes are pulled up and up as the forest suddenly becomes a few hundred swaying trees.

Well, he says after we sprint up the trail a ways, maybe we'll get to see if it makes a sound.

The snow comes and goes while we walk, telling each other the new versions of our lives, our most recent rewritten drafts. He is still moving to Vermont; he is startled but not surprised to learn that I am going to the monastery. It is a good walk.

The snow kept up all day, and by the looks of it, all night. Chocolate-chip-banana pancakes and oversteeped French press coffee for breakfast, plates on our knees as we watch the snow fall. Already the porch is buried, branches on the pines outside beginning to bend. I wonder if they will break.