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Snowshoe

Wendy Jensen


I don't necessarily like the taste of tea.

It's the enforced break from my rushing inner world

that rewards.


Once the tea has steeped

the short window of time

between scalding

and tepid

invites timely reflection.


Holding nearly boiling water to my lips

requires focus

away from the computer's ever-present

allure.


So I sit

hot cup in hand

lifting the painted china

sipping

feeling the warmth

trickle down

into my innards.


My thoughts calm their ceaseless swirling.

I admire the deep color

leaching from the tea bag.

The silent sun

reflecting in

from the snowy trees outside.


I tip up my eyes

from the teacup

noticing the last clinging dried leaves

on the branches outside

bowed down with their bright layer of ice.


I breathe in deeply

smelling the lemony herbs

from my cup

its steam briefly

fogging my glasses.

I smell woodlands

damp and earthy

the scent carried in from this morning's snowshoe hike

lifting off my clothes

as they dry by the fire.


My mind rests quietly

in the present

like a bird perched

on my hand.


I sit still

fearing any motion

or stray thought

might scare her away

in a puff of feathers.


Another sip

and my muscles release tension

from that last clamber

up the snowy hill

back onto my street.


Remembering the fog of breath

bursting from my neck gaiter

to glaze my glasses.


Coating from steam

or from warm breath

both fade quickly

leaving me clear-eyed.

Ready to continue my day.

But now with a finger

on the pulse

of the present moment.

 

Wendy Jensen


I grew up in three different countries, landing finally in New Hampshire to practice homeopathic veterinary medicine, play violin, and raise my children. My writing has appeared in the Tiny Seed Journal as well as numerous homeopathy journals. My experiences as a veterinarian, an advocate at my local crisis center, and a researcher at an animal rights organization all come together to inform my work.


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