Into the Winter Night

Into the Winter Night

In the cold crisp night I searched my backyard for my fat runaway bunny Clover. She had taken advantage of a not quite closed door to make her slippery escape. Taking a quick look around I noticed that the newly fallen snow glistened just like diamonds. The only sound I could hear was the jingle of the wind chimes hung high in the pines. The sound seemed to be part of the night air. I decided it was time to enjoy the wonder of my garden while I searched for my little fugitive.
Walking over to my little pond I saw the lights glistening off the waterfall. The rushing waters were frozen in time. Clear crystals hung off the rocks. Soft green light glowed up through the snow from a spot light buried deep in the white cover. Deer and bunny tracks were scattered everywhere in the soft new snow. It was evidence several animals had stopped for a quick drink by the melted water around the pond heaters. It was a beautiful sight.

The holidays had just gotten over. It was always the busiest time of the year. I felt like I hadn’t had time to breathe and I definitely hadn’t taken a moment to walk outside. I realized that been a mistake. It was wonderful to see the splendor that is winter in Northern Wisconsin. I could feel myself being recharged within as the sights warmed my soul. Drifts of snow camouflaged the unfinished fall chores. I knew hard work waited for me when the spring thaw came. I could rejoice knowing spring and my beloved gardening was just around the corner.

Even now the light stayed around a little longer every day. We were on the other side of winter. But there was still time to smell the crisp air that tickled my nose as I took a deep breath. Meantime, I continued my search for that sneaky grey bit of fluff.

I spotted my grey bunny beneath the seat cushion that had fallen to the ground. The seats formed a tent for her to get out of the sharp wind. The rabbit seemed in no hurry to dash away from me. That was until I took one more step towards her. The rabbit and I played a game of keep away around my garden shed and weed filled vegetable garden. She reminded me of an elusive butterfly, close enough to capture, but just out of reach.

The chill permeated through my thin jacket. It was time to give up the chase for the night. The rabbit capture would have to wait for another day. One last glance around my beautiful, frozen kingdom. I turned towards the stairs and warmth. I knew all I had seen that night would transform itself during the next snow storms. I knew it was inevitable in the long months ahead. But for a frozen moment in time, I had been a part of the beauty that is winter. The time between fall and spring. The time of secrets hidden below the snow in the tiny tunnels tiny mammals scurried through. It was a time of reflection just like the light shining through the soft, clean snow.

Soon spring will come and clear away winter’s landscape. But it is a time to not rush through. Just like life, we need the ebb and flows of the seasons to adjust to the changes in our lives. And just as I had returned to my warm, comfortable home, and on her own Clover had returned to her home. We both had enjoyed the joy and splendor of winter’s beauty, but for now we were happy to snuggle in and wait for springtime to arrive.

Originally published in Bottom Line News & Views, January 2019

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