Saturday, February 1, 2014

Glitter and Glory

     We’ve had snow on the ground since early December. None of it has been very deep, except where we pile it into mountains beside the driveway. A day or two above freezing and the snow recedes, the grass begins to show—not green grass, of course, but the memory of it. Then it snows again. Winter drops a veil over our dreams in a guise the color of cold.

     But I like winter, and not just the winter that happens on the inside of the house: the cozy comforters, hearth-fires, and singing teakettles. I like the bitter cold that paints feathers and fronds on my window and rainbows around the sun; that freezes the air to make dust diamonds or soap bubble crystals; a cold that eases into icicles and snow.

     The sun came out last Saturday, trailing a scarf of aching blue across the sky. I went out to clear drifts from the driveway before the next snowfall. A skin of ice had formed overnight and the asphalt was treacherous. I wrapped my face in a muffler against the scouring winds and went to work. It grew warm under the layers and down, too warm to go back in the house when the shoveling was done, so I went for a walk. It was only a short walk because of the cold; just down to the play park a couple of blocks away.

     The park was crunchy with unbroken snow, and blue shadows gathered in the hollows of my bootprints. I sat down on a bench with my face lifted toward the warm and drank a cup or two of shine. Shine of the sun beating brightness from the snow; shine from the bare-limbed trees blazing with light; shine from the birds calling joy-words to one another; shine even from the wind making music in the pines at the edge of the park.

     Other than a quick dash through a parking lot or down to the mailbox, I had been cocooned inside the house for weeks. As I sat in the cold, steeping myself in the hard, bright glitter and glory of the winter afternoon, I felt happy. The glory seeped into my soul. The sun had laid its hand on my head with a benediction.

     Yes, I grow weary of winter; of the cold and the gray; of being shut up indoors for weeks at a time; of moving snow again and again, but all seasons have their afflictions, and all seasons have their work. The beauty and wonder of each is the glitter and glory that is present in all of them.


  1. Glorious writing as glittery as crystal...I'm facebooking this piece!!!

    1. So kind of you Becky. And thanks for the winter roses: food for the color-starved.

  2. Yes! Thanks to Becky, I too was able to read and enjoy how you painted this season so vividly.

  3. Beautifully said. The pics are very good too.