Winter Impasse

As a child few things were more magical to me than a snowy day.  I truly believed each was a gift from God….especially when it meant no school.  My entire life I have remained a weather buff in love with winter and so a life-death metaphor seemed appropriate. 


Winter Impasse

Winter Impasse, acrylic painting by Lahle Wolfe.

A snowflake falls from the heavens. Alone, it seems endlessly delicate; its birth so marvelous it commands wonder that something so fragile and perfectly formed could even exist.

Another tender flake falls, silently forging a path for more to follow. It is gone before I am ready for it to be gone, but I know more will come and because I know more will come, they will find me equally as unprepared on that future present day as well. When tomorrow always comes there is no need for today.  And so it is, how time passes quickly.

And so it is, how time passes quickly.
Soft flakes join ranks to surround and capture my upturned face tickling my lashes into erratically fluttering butterfly prisoners.  For a moment I surrender and close my tired eyes to the world allowing myself the peace of missing things I will never know.

The soft flurries turn to a raging storm of reflection. The faster they fall, the larger the flakes become drifting downward upon now what seems not-so-long-ago memories of snowmen and snowball fights, harked and heralded angels, sleds ridden, frozen mittens, and school days missed. I relax and let them spiral past me.

Winter white memories melt into spring daisy chains and skipping barefoot through uncut summer grass until the sound of mowers is replaced with the confit sound of fiery fall leaves dying crunchy deaths underfoot as summer recedes and winter plans its new strategy.

Breath.

Almost too quickly to count, another season comes, and goes, and comes, and goes, and comes and goes, and comes and goes until the seasons multiply into years unfolding unnoticed; sneaking by blurring time as babies have their own babies.  The new generation born begins the sunset of the previous.

I snap back.

As the sun fades the winds whirl summoning the cold, driving it deep into my dry bones.  It howls and whips my face with my own hair.  The frigid air cool-burns my nostrils as I breath, and so I breathe with more caution; slower, shallower, expecting the nip.  I bring my hands to my face to muffle the sting of the air. 

I hold back until I forget how to breath.

Snow falls heavily until everything dark and dirty and bright and shiny become homogeneous into a vibrantly-colorless everything-nothingness.  Silence becomes a joyful chorus; peace is thunderously felt to the core and I shake as the cold air invigorates my ancient heart until it beats too quickly before it sighs one more time.

Another flake falls. And another. Except that, sometimes it doesn’t.  So I will remind you now.

Breath.


In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.  Genesis 3:19 (King James Version)

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