House bound

Posted: December 21, 2008 in prison, general, prisoner writing
Tags: , , , , , ,

Winter has come to the northwest. Not a typical winter, which is usually dark, wet days with temperatures hovering in the low thirties or forties, but a real winter, with several inches of snow and temperatures in the teens (with notes on weather.com that say things like “feels like 6 degrees”). I haven’t been to work since last Tuesday (thank goodness for telecommuting) and even thinking about the fact that I have to try and get out on the roads today, which are a thick sheet of compact ice and snow (non of that New England stuff that moves out of your way when you drive) makes me want to crawl back into bed with my book and stay there.

It’s interesting though that even this reality of being house bound, stuck by the snow, imprisoned by Mother Nature, is still comes with its freedoms. If I wanted I could bundle up, get on some real boots and trudge my way by foot to wherever I wanted to go. I’ve seen people walking along the side of the road the last couple of days just to carry home a 12-pack fo beer. Ah, priorities. If I wanted I could take the car and risk putting it in the ditch. Someone would come and help me, eventually. Even here in the house, I have my choice of activities: read, write, get caught up on some homework, watch a little Sunday football, sit quietly and watch the snow, take (another) nap, go for a short walk just to enjoy the silence of my rural surroundings when everything is muted by snow cover.

I’m thinking about all this because for a moment this morning when I peeked out of the curtains and saw that indeed we had gotten more snowfall during the night, I dared to feel sorry for myself. I’m stuck here. It’s like being in prison. Can’t go anywhere. Can’t do anything. I’m on nature’s schedule. Subject to what she will allow me to do or not do. But the truth is, this isn’t prison. My day is still full of liberties and freedoms. And I don’t have to compete for a few moments of silence to wonder at the beauty of snow covered evergreens with my cellmate who won’t turn off the tv. And I can make hot cocoa (or another round of coffee) whenever I choose. And if I wanted I could go join the kids on the hill and do a little sledding, rushing down the now slick track they’ve made, the cold air stinging my cheeks, free to laugh and play.

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