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Dawning Winter

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Nature had paralyzed earth in the stillness of a newborn winter day. The spiciness of the chilled air permeated through the morning fog. Wind gently stirred the desiccated, brown leaves that hung dead upon the hibernating trees. My nose stung from the burning iciness that invaded my thoughts, but I just kept walking, taking in the serenity of the winter dawn. I had no destination in mind; I had no mission other than refreshing my spirit with the peace that accompanies the birth of every day.




To my right, a hillside devoid of trees served as the current residence for numerous cattle. They lowed miserably to each other as they stomped in the iciness of the dim morning. Threads of long, ragged weeds were glazed by the frost. The frozen grass beneath my feet crunched with my every footfall. Wild turkeys intermingled with the cows as they pecked at the ground in the hope of uncovering some tasty morsel for their breakfast. How I was glad that I did not depend upon my luck in finding food as my only source of sustenance, but perhaps there is something rewarding about hunting one’s own nourishment.

In front of me, a cluster of beech trees clung unremittingly to the fair leaves that coated their branches. The eye-watering throb of the frigid morning was nigh impossible to bear, but the fuzziness of my worn flannel jacket helped mercifully to warm me a bit. I did not understand how the squirrels above me chattered so cheerily while they had such a thin coat of fur. Why, they were near uncovered as far as clothing goes, yet they maintained their merry spirits in the frosty air!

The most prevalent sound to reach my ears was that peculiar silence that pervades every winter dawn: the absolute stillness as nature decides who should lead the charge into the dawning day. Despite the apparent lifelessness of my surroundings, I knew all was not dead. Amidst the smell of rotting leaves, life could be seen in the eternal green of the cedar trees, and life could be heard in the perpetual chirping of the birds that had stayed the winter. They were a beacon of life in the company of death. Surely they were as a Christian to the unbelieving world: a light in the dark.

No thoughts can ever go as deep as they do in the tranquility of the genesis of day. In fact, those thoughts cannot even be expressed in the language of humans, for in the calm of solitude, one does not think as a human. One thinks as a part of the puzzle of life: as a piece of nature unbroken. It is an indescribable sensation to be such a component of the very essence of life.

In the quiet, I stopped walking. I was surrounded by the beauty of death. What is the beauty of death? It is the beauty of an omnipresent hope. It is the promise of a coming naissance of the spark in all of our lives. The splendor of winter is so often the glory of the absent, and so it should be.

With this in mind, I pulled my jacket closer to me. It was time to head back home. I turned around and trudged back to my house while breathing in the bracing air. I glanced around once more in the dawn. The frost had begun to melt, soaking my feet. I inhaled the scent of decaying flora, and reveled in its magnificence. As I breathed, I tasted the earthiness of the country. All that I could hear at that moment was the gentle puffing of my lungs.

With seconds to spare, I turned back to look at the hillside beside my house. Like a tsunami, the light broke within the valley- my valley. And I was happy.



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Selah This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Nov. 30, 2010 at 7:34 pm:
Awesome details, and I love your intelligent wording. Beautiful!!! Keep it up, Lyvie.
 
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