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Saturday, March 17, 2012


I don’t like cold.

Though I’ve lived all of my 55 years in northern climes, I’ve never learned to like winter. And yet, the experience of walking on a blanket of freshly fallen snow moves me in a way I can neither explain nor understand. The fragility and softness of snow belies the ruthless, unforgiving climate that produces it.

The delicacy of little pockets of fluff precariously attached to small irregularities on the bark of a tree trunk fill me with fresh awe each time I see them.

The tender way the fork of a tree cups thousands of tiny crystals without injuring them is gentle as a lover’s first uncertain touch.

We’re expecting 10 centimeters overnight. There is only a slight breeze; white shreds of frozen lace dance languidly around the mercury street lights. They catch in my hair and eyelashes, kiss my face as they melt on my cheek or lips. The low hanging clouds reflect back a warm orange-gold as the city quiets in the darkness.

The dog is never happier than when he steps out the front door of the house onto an untouched world of soft white – unless perhaps it’s when he can punch through the crust made on the snow’s surface from a brief thaw. He’s like a cat in a field of catnip, leaping twirling, rolling, burrowing, bouncing. The personification of joy. Or, perhaps I should say the ‘anim’-ation of joy.

I’m just recovering from several days in bed with a nasty flu/cold bug. Being ill is always a reminder to me of how good ‘well’ feels. It reminds me to be grateful for good health.Tomorrow, in celebration and gratitude for the reminder, I’ll take the dog along the walking trails that follow the creek. They’re kept ploughed throughout the winter, but if I wake early there will still be a generous layer of pristine glory over my world.

The outlines of the trees along the trail will be softened, touched here and there by the same glory.

We may be the first to walk through it - pioneers in a way, going where none have gone before.