When the creativity gets stuck and I can't work anymore, I walk. My walks are long, slow, and deliberate. I fasten the big floppy-eared hat under my chin, fumble with my zipper through mittened hands, and give my cat a stroke.
A Red-shafted Flicker is startled from the suet feeder as I make my way across the frost crystallized grass. Small mounds of pebble-like scat near the compost reveal that we had visiting mule deer during the night. I take note of whether the mountains are clear and silhouetted in blue, or if they're swallowed by the nimbostratus. Today they are being pummeled with long-reaching fists of grey as cloud sinks into the canyons and rolls back out. The golden Autumnal coat of larches dot the emerald green blankets of forest. I collect leaves along the sidewalk: mustard, vermillion, coral, burgundy. Chestnut, maple, poplar, and aspen. Canadian Geese blurt their hurried messages as they wobble through the sky above. A tabby cat flops on the ground before me, bleating for a neck scratch. I oblige. Pulling my scarf tighter around my neck, I eye a bulbous hornet's nest several feet above in a tree. Nobody seems to be home.
The rustling breeze urges me on, pushing me forward, back in the door of my little white house. I unbundle, sit at my desk, cat on my lap, and get back to work.