Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Swept under the mat

It was dusk-winter dusk. Snow lay white and shining over the pleated hills, and icicles hung from the forest trees. The days of winter were numbered. The silent drip, drip dripping of the snow covered trees was an ever present ringing in the bleak landscape that was my home. Even though I had grown up here, this reoccurring winter was never expected. It seemed like everyone was different. New sounds, new shapes, new experiences. But the months leading up to the freeze were always filled with the same pandemonium.

Mom and Dad stocked the house with food, firewood and fear, procrastinating that each winter was more grim than the last. The constant season of ice and snow, was accompanied by silence and emotionless behaviour of our family. As though the ice had created a barrier between the family, we led separate lives, conversing as a bare necessity at meal times.

The best part of winter was the picturesque wilderness that surrounded our cabin. Many a winter's day was spent wandering around the white landscape, searching for any movement of life. But all that replied was the slow and easy swaying of the trees, waving in the wind. Occasionally, a fox would be seen bounding from field to field, in search for an easy meal for its family, regularly to no prevail.

But now, the home stretch was in range. You could smell the coming of spring, the snow and ice relieving its pressure on the surroundings. Nature seemed to sigh with relief as the curse of winter was lifted and as the abundance of verdant poked its face out from underneath all the white.

This knowing that change was soon to be a merciful assistant for our family. Mealtimes would be brighter, and windows would relieve the stale air, as spring cleaning began.

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