Tuesday, February 27, 2007

On Winter

I took the dog for a walk last night, all wrapped up in my to-do-list and my worries and the future and the past. She trotted happily in the freshly fallen snow, stopping every few yards to read those mysterious messages only dogs can interpret, and slowly my mental wrappings came undone and I lived in the present for a while.

So beautiful, the present can be. It would be a pity to forget that with all the ugliness of this world. The night was dark but the lights from the buildings and the cars shone upwards, coloring the sky that odd silvery gray which is not really gray and not really silver, but somehow the color of blueness in the dark. Against that background the trees shone black, lit from behind as if from some inner tree-lights. The dark branches stretched across the sky, the white lace of snow dressing the bare branches into something new, something different. Winter having a party.

This is not like the parties of summer, full of scents and song and the soft petals of flowers. It is an austere affair, held in rooms of enormous size, with music of ice flutes and cymbals and silence. And all through it the Wife of Winter dances, creating spirals in the snow, making the black trees hum, throwing a cold kiss on the faces of passers-by.

Or so it seemed to me, for a few minutes.