message 2

Before the blizzard…

The days grow shorter now, as I rise still early to throw logs into the woodstove and think of you in this smoky warmth. I reach often now for you in these long nights, the leaves now turning—I believe it is late this year—many falling to the ground in nights of wind and rain.

Oh yes, the snow now has melted even here. I imagine it was never so long-lasting down lower, in the real world.

Tell me some stories when you write next. I ache for the real world, ache for your touch. Tell me what you see now, whom you see. Is it beautiful where you are now? Where are you, love? I know you can never tell me for your own safety, but tell me, please. Are you all right?

Your latest package waits for me down the way now, I know, still hiding I hope in the trees where you have left the others. I live for now, my love, as I realize that even the abrupt snowfall from last week left me stranded here in my woods. It will only get worse now with winter coming. Oh, love, I sometimes am so afraid. I am afraid of the very basic things: cold, hunger. I usually dare never to think of “what-ifs”… this entire year could have consumed me if I let myself drift in that direction. And yet, now.. with so much time…

Please take the tube container—it has some work in it on vellum. Keep it, or if resources are soon to run out, sell it. You could, to the gentleman whose name I left for you before I left. With the time I have here, I have the time minus the distractions, so I believe this one is nearly perfect. Well, nearly perfect. My gentleman never pays for perfection, but rather for beauty. I hope I have achieved that. But at any rate, he will pay you for the piece, and handsomely. Do what you need to do.

I succeeded in canning a good part of the harvest this year. Yes, remember? We did this once, and I suppose you never forget. But still it surprises me to look at the shelves full of tomatoes and peppers, jams, so many delights. Thank you for the venison in the last package. I was nearly afraid to ask how… but I made it with the dried cherries.

I miss you. I wish you were here with me in these quiet moments, in the moments that I can see a fox, the mountain laurel. In moments that the sage erupts with its intoxicating scent after a rainfall. In moments that I lie back in the featherbed and quilts and dream of the way your hair smells on my pillow after you have sweat and laid next to me for a night. I fear the winter, love. But in each moment I think of you, I know you are somehow near.

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