Sunday, December 20, 2009

Miracle of Snow

December 2009

What a curious year this has been. I look out the window at snow, but its not yesterday’s snow, or the snow of two days ago. Today’s snow is different. Today the snow comes down steadily in small flakes, as though it were rain. Yesterday we had lovely fluffy flakes drifting down, each flake a different size. Two days ago the snow was little pellets. I understand (mostly) the scientific reason for the types of snow, temperature, height of clouds, humidity, etc. But the science doesn’t remove the wonder, or change my reaction to this Christmas card wooded environment in which I find myself.

The Fall too was spectacular - such colors, red, yellow, orange, and even mauve, contrasting always with the green of pine. The maples, turned yellow then red deepening the hues each day, so that each day presented a different woodland. The ferns green to yellow to bronze. The oaks keep their leaves the longest, but this year they too fell before the first snow. I have a photo taken last year of oak leaves on snow, but there will be no leaves on snow this year as the trees are barren. It is this barrenness that presents the perfect photo in snow, for each twig – with next year’s leaves in readiness - holds the flakes that fall.

I hate to say the Crispus Attucks book is almost finished, but it is, just a bit more polishing. I know now what I often told students, “no book is finished, just abandoned.” What’s next? I don’t know for sure, I’ll send out letters and a chapter to see what happens, I just feel good having told the story. I have another novel in the works, this one about a soldier and his friends, world war I to the Nuremberg trials told from the point of view of the average soldier.

It’s good to be here in the trees, and to a different lifestyle. I am healthy, working in my mother’s yard, learning – very slowly – how to garden in trees, and the breaking point of yard and flower bed vs woodland. Shade and Sand are my companions out of doors.

Each day in Michigan is a new day. Like the snow, they fall one by one with new loveliness. There are chickadees at the feeder who follow me calling “chick a dee dee dee,” as I walk down the hill to the mailbox. They call to me when I go down the shallow steps to the garage, or when I put up decorations, or get out a rake. Deer too come in the yard, we’ve had two does and their fawns come in a couple of times a week during the morning or evening hours this fall. Just last week, “Granny” came in with her twin fawns and a daughter. “Granny” is recognizable for the tracking collar around her neck. We hadn’t seen her at all this year, though neighbors had, so we knew she still lived. I continue to be amazed at her, she must be at least six years old, and momma says Granny has twin fawns every other year. How remarkable! The turkeys too come in the yard, I counted nine, and only one of the nine had a beard.

The snow is faint now, almost invisible as it falls. We have less than an inch on the ground, I can still see green grass tufts above the white. My brother and sister-in-law had a foot of snow yesterday, I’m so glad to be on the eastern side of the state and miss all that lake-effect snow. We are due for a snow storm later this week, who knows what that means as it was supposed to be dry and sunny today. Each day different. Each day a miracle. Each day new ideas, new experiences, some pellets, some rain, some flakes. I wish you all the miracles your hearts can hold, all the newness your mind can perceive. Most of all I wish you love and peace. Not freedom from war, for I am convinced that as long as there is evil in this world there will be war, but the inner peace that comes from loving and being loved.

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