, , , , , , , ,

It’s been a rather grim winter in my little corner of the world. Looking out toward the mountains, all I could see for most of the past two months was the roof of the doctor’s offices across the street. Boise lies in a valley with a river running through it. Sounds romantic. But during the winter, when the upper wind currents form a high pressure system, we are prone to miserable inversions. The moisture from the river, and this year from snow on the valley floor, gets trapped by warmer air from above, pressing the clouds down over our heads and inducing crankiness and depression.

But I escaped last week! I enjoyed the singular pleasure of being cradled in the beauty of my favorite place in the world. The five-day retreat began with a three-hour drive into the high country, then an two-mile, uphill snowshoe hike with our meals on our backs. The reward was all the comforts of home—minus Internet connectivity—as much a blessing as it is a curse.  I stayed in the family summer home of a dear friend. We were the only two humans for miles around. Glorious!DSC_0020


We spent mornings writing and reading in blissful solitude. During the afternoons we ventured out of our respective caves of silence to chill our cheeks during snow shoe meanderings.

DSC_0046 Then back indoors to warm up in front of the wood stove, to share an evening meal of delicious soup—made with home grown, dehydrated veggies— and to solve all the world’s problems with our utopian dreams.DSC_0041The mountains gathering and dancing with swirling storm systems provided unending entertainment.DSC_0055 DSC_0044 DSC_0003I even ventured out at night. The evening sunsets were extraordinary. And one night the sky cleared to reveal a cap of stars glittering in the black sky. The snow captured enough of the half-moon’s lumens to provide just enough light for safety. Across the river valley, the peaks had shrugged off their blanket of clouds to shine back at us in snow-covered pride. With no tripod and freezing cold hands, I didn’t even try for photos at night. There’s no way I could have done justice to the view.DSC_0050 DSC_0014 DSC_0006

I am restored.