I’m one of the few remaining dinosaurs on earth who reads an actual newspaper. I’ve probably written about this before; the habit of spreading out the pages while eating breakfast I started as a teen is so ingrained in me, I’ll grieve when forced to let it go. The same way people resist the transition from bricks and mortar books to E-readers, the idea of eating my oatmeal while clicking on the laptop seems remote somehow, distant and cold. That said I know the time will come, probably soon.
For now though, most days my husband, who gets up a bit earlier, takes the trip to the bottom of the driveway to pick up the paper. Today it didn’t arrive until after he left, so I stepped into my boots and slipped out the door to realize the other thing that I will miss when the paper stops arriving at dawn.
In ten degree weather, sound carries across the frozen street. This morning though, the soft swish of traffic traveling the two lane highway a half-a-mile away whispered and that was all. No cars raced down our commuter road, the birds were quiet, trees stood still. Billows of steam hung like clouds from rooftop furnace vents. Behind the houses across the street, the shadows of leafless trees fingered a sky washed in butter-cream as a low sun reached for the horizon. Frigid air cut at my wool sweater, sharp and tight and glass-like as my boots scuffed on the frosty driveway. Upon reaching the paper, I stood for a minute watching as my vapor formed and disappeared. For a moment, I was far away— on the side of a snow covered mountain, or standing in the middle of a rural field, miles from the populated neighborhood we call home.
For just a few seconds in my little world, that was all there was. The newspaper, the silence, and me.