As I trod along the snow-laden forest path, I watch the delicate whirls of snowflakes scatter gently upon the powdery white carpet like sparkling pixie dust cast by Mother Nature’s own winter faeries. I stick out a mitten-covered finger as a little flake lands peacefully on top of it, and I study the intricate mini-masterpiece for an instant before it disappears beneath my own hot breath. I glance up with wonder in my eyes at the elegant pines comforted by the pearly frost blanket, which disguises them as magnificent beauties donned in glistening silver gowns. For a minute, I hear nothing but the shy, whispering winds and the continuous crunch of my tennis shoes against the shallow snowdrift… but I suddenly become aware of the muted call of a mysterious snowy owl and the scramble of a terrified squirrel disappearing up a trunk and into its secret hole only known to those who keep an endless supply of acorns. Snuggling my neck between the crevices of my toasty scarf, I admire the graceful setting sun leisurely fall asleep behind the majestic Rocky Mountains, and as my gaze wanders upward I notice a few faint, flickering little stars hidden by the haziness of the faded peachy-rose sky. As I meander into a crisp, open area covered in a glittering layer of undisturbed snow, I recognize a familiar sight in the distance, a beloved log cabin with its windows aglow of light and laughter and its chimney puffing out friendly clouds of firewood smoke from within its walls, which have begun to gray with the seasons. When the smoldering aroma of those little clouds of smoke reach me, I feel my cheeks flush with the thoughts of many joyful memories and I realize that a familiar twinkle has appeared in my eyes. I turn around wistfully, watching my fresh footprints vanish into the still woodlands, and gaze all about me, and then I close my eyes with a quiet smile and take everything in, feeling deep in my heart that this magical moment is a moment I will remember forever.
November 16, 2009