Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A Snowfall at Night

I prefer winter and fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape - the loneliness of it, the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it, the whole story doesn't show. ~Andrew Wyeth

I went outside for a walk this morning. Charlie and I trudged down the unplowed driveway. It was a magical sight. We have one of those long winding driveways that goes over a little brook. In the summertime the trees' lush leaves create a canopy and in autumn, driving up the path gives me the feeling that I'm in a beautifully illustrated fairy tale; the colors are so artfully crisp and bright. But in the winter, the driveway is best appreciated after a snow fall. I am sure that if we were not teachers enjoying snow days that keep us at home after a storm, we'd have a much different opinion. However, knowing that we're all happily at home for the day, it's not uncommon for us to venture out, either to walk Charlie, to try the sleds, or to take pictures of the trees.

After my jaunt with my old girl, I came inside to do some cooking. Deviled eggs, banana bread, chicken pot pie, and pumpkin cookies would be prepared over the next several hours. The kids all went out to play in the snow and came back inside with big smiles and contented sighs. After enjoying a day of puttering in the kitchen I made myself sit down and do some school work for a couple of hours. But I then took a look outside after dark. The light caught the snow on the burning bush near my window and I just had to grab my camera and dash outside one more time before my day ended.

This time I went outside alone, leaving Charlie to sleep on her warm blanket. The air was chilled and snow continued to fall but I was dressed warmly. It was dark and still. Peacefully promising. I snapped a few pictures realizing that I could barely see what I was taking pictures of, and I felt that feeling I have always had on these snowy nights. It's a feeling that takes me back to my childhood, to the nights of grabbing the sled for some "night sliding" down the hill in my backyard on the snow-packed chute Dad always prepared each year, designed to take me all the way past the house and down to the street.

There's something incredible about the way in which the trees appear after a snowstorm. The next day's sun will make them glisten and that will be glorious too, but to capture a snowfall at night takes me back every time.

Winter came down to our home one night
Quietly pirouetting in on silvery-toed slippers of snow,
And we, we were children once again.
--~Bill Morgan, Jr.

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