Winter Lives

Yes, there is life in winter. And what life!
IMG_9279Even in the winter, when the greenness of summer passes into slumber and the chill and silence settles in, even when the waking months of the growing seasons are long past, there is a life that lurks in wintertime, and not too hidden from our eyes.  It is a quiet life, but a rollicking merriment, like peals of distant bells or a silent glint of laughter in smiling eyes. It is seen in the way the spider threads tangle up the slanting sun with the dried heads of bee balm. It is seen in the way the sunlight catches just so on ice crystals on a frozen stream.  It is seen in the clear blue of icicles, or the swirling eddies of freshly fallen snow.IMG_9293The days are short and shorter, but moonlight casts her spell. What is more alive than a winter moon over a snow-gleaming landscape, the frost glinting and sparkling like innumerable  stars fallen to earth? On a clear night, only the brightest of the heavenly stars can be seen, but every meadow becomes a new star field under the light of the waking moon. IMG_9245Deer and antelope and bison are heedless of the cold, rooting contentedly in the snowy grass, with blankets of snow resting on their backs. Clouds of warmth swirl from the mouths of anything that breathes. Creatures that were scruffy in the spring and summer are now fat and sleek. They have prepared for winter, and they accept it. IMG_9232Every sound rings through the crystal-cold air. There are the diminutive footprints and tail prints of mice, scampering over otherwise untouched snow, and careful footprints of deer. Golden grasses sway above the white of the snow. There are the memories of last summer’s wild roses. IMG_9296Spring will come again. But for now, winter lives.

Laura Elizabeth

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