Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Snow - December 1999

It's snowing here. Wet snow, the kind that sticks to everything, the kind that soaks you clean through . . . it's overcast but there's a full moon behind it shining through just the same, and there's a fine, solid mist of snow coming down, covering everything it touches. Everything is still. There is no sound save the wind and the snow it brings. I can feel, hear, the snow crinkling into my coat as the wind wraps around me. The pines wave gently in the breeze, so gently they do not drop what snow has gathered on their boughs. I stand, feeling the air, feeling the snow, watching that white mist shift slightly in the wind . . . the snow covers all. Already my footprints trailing behind me to the porch are vanishing beneath its folds. Ahead of me the neighbor's floodlight casts its own glow into the mist, casting the moonlit snow into shadows. It is a brighter white against the silent white, almost out of place in this gray-white world, but it is still a part. Down the hill, the street and the trees are nearly vanished into each other, wrapped in white. There too is a glow, a pale yellow against the white, but it is not so strong.

I turn and retrace my steps, then continue them. The snow cushions my boots, collapsing with a muted crunch into its own cushion of leaves that lie below it. Behind the house, the trees are hardwoods, not pines, and their branches are bare, yet no longer, for the snow is gathering upon them; there are no needles to filter it off, but merely branches on which the snow lands and piles up, rows of white topping the gray wood. The weeds not yet leveled are quiet and subdued, almost beautiful, as the snow covers them equally. Here the mist is not so easily seen, hidden as it is by the enclosure of forest and fences, and the beauty is stark, hard almost; it is more intense than the cold which grips my body. I can bear it no more, I turn and move away quickly. It is too much. A fallen branch catches on my boot; I free it, and in doing so look back involuntarily. The cold that grips me now is not solely of the air. This time I do not look back.

In front the mist remains; it is a comfort, almost as an old friend. Here it is open; here is beauty of an intense nature, but not like of the back, where strange shapes and shadows lie just beneath the snow, almost hidden, but all too present. No, here there is a warmth of heart within the cold of air. This is the place. My voice lifts, not ringing out loud and clear, for there can be no such here. No, here the heart sings strong while the voice sings soft. Still, through the air, there is a voice in this wilderness of snow.

"Silent night . . . holy night . . . all is calm . . . all is bright . . . 'round yon virgin, mother and child . . . holy infant, so tender and mild . . . sleep in heav'nly peace . . . sleep in heav'nly peace . . ."

The voice trails off, the sounds already overtaken by the hush of the mist, but the heart cannot be silenced. The mist understands the heart, and the heart understands the mist, and only the trees may hear.

(December 1999)


Blogger Love is all you need said...

That's such lovely writing, Theodore. Perfect for the weather we are having :-) You completely captured the essence of winter, I am glad you are starting to warm up to it (no pun intended)

You blog is such a delight to read, I am so happy you made another post, even if it was something you have already written. Keep writing honey, I love your stories, and you have so much talent.

I love you, sleep well!

<3 -M

1:54 AM  

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