Thursday, January 23, 2014

Morning snowfall

A singular experience
Morning snow crystallized to a pane of glass.


I wake to move in a house undisturbed. It is one of life’s greatest blessings, the deep, dark quiet of early morning. Before the world wakes. I try to move in a way that keeps things that way - quietly.
I sit at the kitchen table with my first meal of the day to break the night’s fasting. The sun is just beginning to shed light through the window, and I’m made aware of the wonders happening outside. Snow is falling.

It seems a small thing, almost, that if not for sight and a little light I’d be unaware of what was happening outside the window.

I watch, enamored. The twisting and swirling, the gusts and the shapes. White flakes fill the air so completely and at all times. And yet, each flake is always only moments away from finally resting.

Alone I watch a silent symphony.

There, another gust and the wind takes mute forms outside my window.

How does it move in swells? What changes the direction of a group of flakes here, a clutch of crystals there?

They’re all moving at different speeds, yet at once in synch. Sometimes I see planes of depth, as though sister air masses are riding the same merry-go-round. Or maybe the swells are brothers pushing and shoving.

I notice the sunflower seeds in the bird feeder are frozen. Oh, I am sorry little chickadees.

There goes the snowplow...

Like furious white sheets, the wind takes sudden shape - rippling and billowing in a brief, violent burst. The sheets rake against the window and the siding of the house.

I think I hear it then, but no, that’s just the wind. You cannot hear the flakes themselves. Crystal does not crescendo.

There. They are whirling up from the ground now. From the sky and the ground and the nothing in-between. They are creating a whole new environment, a new sphere of something material - solid and tangible, sort of. I could walk right through the whole thing if I wanted.

Too cold. I’ll wait.

I do picture myself out in it, though. When I see that in my head, I’m not about some monotonous duty. No. I’m out and away. There is no car or driveway or grocery stores or banks. There is nowhere I need to go or be and it even seems like I’ve never been anywhere before that place in that moment.

In my mind’s eye I can see me in it far away, but not too far. I am alone, but not really. That is, I feel close to loved ones. I feel full of the universe. I am sunk into something much larger and older and more mysterious than myself.

Out there I’m picturing me in the flakes on the ice or in the trees. I am in the cold air and the cold air within me. The blizzard makes me whole. I commune with the great experience for a single blink of time.

Another snowplow.

The world bustles out there, already striving to get ahead of the day’s duties. They’re missing all of this and I pity them.

It is time though, time to move again within reality. I should help the chickadees break their fast.

See you out there,
A woodsman in training.

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