When I arrived home at 5:30, after having walked to town to mail in the absentee ballot that arrived in today's post, it was still light outside. By the time I'd finished making my toast and butter and honey, the sky was downright gold, from ear to ear. I put my chamomile tea on the desk and sat down and opened a book, then looked again out the window and thought, you will regret it if you don't walk out to shoot that sky.
And so I did.
I regret that I didn't get more of the low fog that was coming up in the fields. And I regret that there's no way for me to explain what it was like to realize that I'd forgotten what winter smells like--and then to realize, even further, that this wet shivery bone-chill cold still isn't what winters smell like where I come from, because I can still breathe in through my nose, and because the air I'm breathing in isn't dry. And because as cold as it's gotten, it's still nowhere near as cold as it's been at home. Nowhere near.
In the midst of my processing last night, by the way, I forgot to tell you one other thing you might need to know:
If you carry an apple pie--even a covered one--into a taxicab to Trumpington, your cab driver might well engage you in a conversation about the best apples for cooking (Bramleys) and the best kinds of butter for baking (Anchor, Lurpak, that French butter whose name we couldn't remember). Butter from New Zealand, butter from Denmark. Unsalted butter. The advantages of butter as compared to margarine (too many to name). "How long before you get to go home for your roast?" I asked him. "An hour and a half," he replied. This morning I realized that I should have torn off a piece of the crust and given it to him, just like we gave the Corpus Christi porters one of our eclairs when my beautiful friend was in town. There wasn't a graceful way to share the pie, but that shouldn't have stopped me.