Something deep in my DNA requires the cold to testify to my reality in the universe. Memories of mundane school room lessons being transformed to gaiety by the childhood cry, “Look, it’s snowing!” spur me to excitement.
The words of James Joyce from The Dubliners come to mind:
“A few light taps upon the pane made him turn to the window. It had begun to snow again. He watched sleepily the flakes, silver and dark, falling obliquely against the lamplight. The time had come for him to set out on his journey westward. Yes, the newspapers were right: snow was general all over Ireland. It was falling on every part of the dark central plain, on the treeless hills, falling softly upon the Bog of Allen and, farther westward, softly falling into the dark mutinous Shannon waves. It was falling, too, upon every part of the lonely churchyard on the hill where Michael Furey lay buried. It lay thickly drifted on the crooked crosses and headstones, on the spears of the little gate, on the barren thorns. His soul swooned slowly as he heard the snow falling faintly through the universe and faintly falling, like the descent of their last end, upon all the living and the dead.”
Indeed, the snow was “falling faintly”, and not wanting to be excluded from life’s feast, I must get out and live in it!
An ethereal mist covers the horizon as a diluted sun attempts to rise. Trees, like manacled saintly cripples, reach out paralysed white arms seeking an unlikely offering. I am launched into my own icy world of “Narnia”, a wicked queen, somehow transfiguring my sullen landscape into beauty.
I want to sing and dance from the sheer exuberance of frosty celebration. Callous mud has been frozen into magnificent sculpture and draped promiscuously in purity. I am seduced by the newly fashioned earth, wanting to kiss creation afresh. My Pygmalion heart unleashes prayers and vows to life’s altar, hoping to find a warmth which will accompany me back into the days of grey.
Animals carry brighter colour in the white hue of winter. A robin proudly displays his red breast in an unconscious redemptive boast. The steam rises from the horned cattle, rugged and hirsute in subdued wildness.
I walk on for hours, not wanting my wandering to end. I am alive, my feet finding a new sound and testimony to the ground I softly tread – heaven has laid a new virgin carpet for me. I stride on in eager, greedy consummation, making my own conquest, writing my own story in nature’s history.