First Breath of Winter

IMG_4441.1lowrez Something about the snow, a fresh snow, transforms the landscape of my mind. When the snow starts to fly, I can’t seem to stop smiling – my soul can’t stop smiling. There is a newness, a freshness, a wonder about the snow, flying and swirling from an invisible sky above and transforming the drabness of dying autumn into the glory of waking winter. The cold ceases to matter. The snow seems to bathe life with madcap delight.

IMG_4437.1lowrezI came downstairs yesterday morning, before the sun had peeked into our hollow, and I was greeted by the wonder of snow. Everything was covered – the rough-cut fences, the branches of every tree, old tires sitting out by the chicken coop, the wind chimes, windowsills, the yellow grader – everything was covered in a layer of pure, undefiled white.

IMG_4491.1lowrezThere outside was Anna’s black kitten, Kashka, enjoying the experience of her first snow. She frolicked and dashed madly about, plunging through snow drifts, jumping up a tree, in the throes of delight. She didn’t even try to sneak into the house, as is her habit. As I drove up our winding driveway to work, a few does startled up from their bedding ground, kicking up their heels – the cold and snow and delight of winter had gotten to them, too. When I got home last night, I couldn’t resist a mad dash around our place – T-shirt, flannel pants, and snow boots, the thermometer reading 15 degrees, and the wind laughing in the trees.

IMG_4505.1lowrezToday, the sun is shining and the sky is the pale blue of winter, behind transparent clouds – The world sparkles in the chill sunlight. Delight and quiet seem to walk hand-in-hand in a world transformed: The chirrup of snow underfoot, the gentle chuckle as snow falls from trees, the icy rustle of a rabbit in the tall grass, the sigh of windblown snow on snow. It is a fragile spell that might shatter like an icicle on stone, shaken loose by a mere sigh of a breeze. But fragile or not, while it lasts the spell is binding.

This is the first breath of winter.

Laura Elizabeth



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