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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.


marja-leena said...

Visiting from phantsythat, I'm suddenly feeling homesick for that lovely lovely white snow as you write of so beautifully. I grew up on the prairies then spent a few years in Fort St. John not far from you and always did like winter except when it was too long and too cold (you've heard of Portage and Main, Winnipeg?). We're too soft now after living in Vancouver over 30 years and like to complain of too much rain instead. Yet each place has its own beauty, and whatever is home is the most beautiful of all, hmm?

clairesgarden said...

sorry you've not been well. its warming up here though it might get colder at any time between now and June, its been nice to have had a couple of dry sunny days. lovely to hear of snowy dog walks.

Cicero Sings said...

Sorry you got hit with the bug. I've managed to avoid it this year so far but I was talking to my MIL the other day and she had it bad. Prior cold memories flooded my mind and made me VERY glad for wellness.

Snow ... I'm tired of it now. Can't wait until it melts away. We've had a goodly amount of the stuff this year but still the woods are dry. Crazy.

susan said...

Here I am late again for one of your rare and lovely posts. The pictures you've taken and the word pictures you paint are truly the best of what winter offers - soft snowflakes and pure light. There's nothing to make it more magical than the company of a good friend.

Still, I hope spring arrives there soon.

gfid said...

Marja-leena - Lovely to meet you, and I enjoyed my visit to your blog. I had to sigh with longing when I read that you're in Vancouver..... surrounded by lush green, with spring well under way. I picked my first pussywillows today, in a sheltered south facing spot. I'll gladly send you some snow ;0) It won't be missed.

Claire - I'm on the mend, thanks... but gradually.... not sure if it was a really bad bug, or I'm just old and slow to recover..... I'm sure Abbey is enjoying the spring wether as much as you are.

Cicero - much better now, thanks. I'll be watching for your pictures of spring... though I don't seem to get out much lately - even in the blogosphere....

Susan - yes, I'm getting to be a rare visitor to cyberspace of late.... but I hope with the end of April, (and corresponding end of the play's run) I'll get back on track. I feel like I'm completely out of touch with the world. Your kind words for sporadic effort warm my heart and encourage me to make more of an effort. I hope your hatches are battened down for the storm I hear is coming Halifax way.

Anonymous said...

i apologize i am late to find you...i have been busy with my blog at wordpress and would beg you to visit soon! there will be hot tea waiting after you've warmed up at the fire. you paint with words...this is so beautifully written, almost haunting...thank you for sharing your world with me-a native of "sunny" climes.......... i know nothing of that of which you speak so softly. i hope you are now feeling well...and hope all is well in your world as well...xoxox and much love and hot cocoa. ♥

Lindsay Byrnes said...

Sounds like your dislike for the cold is tempered by a delight in walking over a blanket of freshly fallen snow. Lovely expressive writings complemented with some great pictures and an evocative desciption of the antics of your dog. I trust by now you’re over flu/cold bug.

Best wishes

gfid said...

Muser - didn't know who you were at first.... I've missed you. Snow is best enjoyed vicariously, in my opinion.

Lindsay - yes, snow can be beautiful... if only it weren't so danged cold!!!