For the second time this winter, Eugene has been hit by snow, which brings the town to a halt. The university is closed, but my lab is buzzing along nicely and I’ve had a more productive day than usual due to the lack of meetings. If only I could shut down the university and disable all emails, who knows what I’d accomplish!
It occurred to me as I biked and walked (pushing my bike) to campus this morning that my trek was a low-grade version of that described by Peter Matthiessen’s in “The Snow Leopard,” an excellent book about travels in the Himalayan wilderness of Nepal, which I finished a few days ago. Both trips involved trudging through snow. Both involved not spotting snow leopards. Matthiessen’s book is as much about his thoughts on Zen Buddhism as it is about nature; I found myself noticing that focusing on keeping my wheels from sliding, and listening to the flow of the Willamette River muffled by snow, are remarkably calming.
A raccoon and I stared at each other near this spot, where I used the shelter of a bridge to take a picture with my computer. It’s not a good photo, but you can get a sense of the trees, and the river (barely visible at the left.)