It might be because this is my last summer in the Adirondack mountains of New York, for a while at least.

Or because my friend Amy is obsessed with the Tarahumara Indians of Mexico and their barefoot running.

Or because I just quit my job of nearly 10 years.

In any case, I’m conducting another experiment,

When the snow melts, things turn up with stories hidden in their decomposition.

A cigarette carton.

An abandoned navy blue sweatshirt.

A stray mitten.

And bones.

I shave my legs more often, dice green vegetables back into my diet, and find myself looking into the mirror in search of a favorable impression more often.

I let the v-lines of my shirt drop seductively low, unhindered by scarf or sweater.

I probably shouldn’t be writing this right now. It’s only January 15.

But I did make it through the darkest month of the year, so I’m going to risk it.

I’m feeling bold.

I have a theory; I have a plan.

Dear TNB Readers,

I took a walk and some photos for you the other day.

It’s Indian Summer in the mountains. The lake still holds the heat of a summer now passed, and I swim at sunset, knowing this may be one of the last moments where everything is deliriously in sync: the body floats, the horizon blooms, and I am nearly naked.

Snow is coming, even though I cannot smell it yet.

You dive in, worrying each time: You might not know this kind of happiness, this kind of wholeness, for another nine months.

After the sun falls behind the western mountains …

I should have known this might happen.

I should have known those blissful days might end and nameless evenings of camp fires and star gazing would give way to a time with harsher edges.

I should have known that a love like this changes, and at some point, you’re forced to ask yourself what it is you love and why you stay.

You buy a house. Alone.

You paint your living room. Alone.

One Saturday in October, you force yourself to drive to the hardware store, buy a sander, a pry bar, a carpet knife, a nail set, three kinds of sandpaper, and a can of finish.

Mountain towns have a strange social dynamic.

A lot of us live in our own little micro-worlds of specific adventure sports.

We go through phases of being social and then being hermits.