I had to brush a thin layer of snow off the windows of my vehicle before I traveled home from work today. The snow had sifted down throughout the afternoon and the tree limbs were gently powdered. The evergreens looked especially enchanting.
As I approached the edge of town, I noticed the hills ahead of me were dark with falling snow. A few snowflakes hit the windshield, as I drove into the storm. It was a wet snow, melting quickly, and leaving the traffic lights glistening jewel-like on the pavement, as if an emerald rain shower had just passed through.
I turned left. Up over the hill I went, noticing that the cemetery was a black-and-white tintype, dark tombstone crosses against a snowy hillside.
Cresting the hill, I am suddenly engulfed in a swirling world of white. It plasters the windshield and encroaches upon the borders of the road. It thickens the air, blotting out noise, surrounding and isolating me until I am only a miniscule satellite of warmth, lost in a distant galaxy. At the very least, a white hole.
I love driving in snow. Ordinary substance is translated into ethereal other-worldliness.
And then it stopped. It was gone. No slackening, or thinning of flakes. I had simply brushed through the beaded curtain.
I was disappointed, but intrigued.
As I came along the ridge, it started to snow again, more gently this time, and rounding a corner I caught a glimpse of the sunset.
I don't think I've ever watched a sunset quite like that, muted pink and gold, the air filled with tiny, nearly iridescent flakes. It reminded me of a haiku that I like. Here 'tis.
Butterflies, dancing through falling snow! What a wonderful sight it would be! -Haiku, Demaru
God's Grandeur The world is charged with the grandeur of God. It will flame out, like shining from shook foil; It gathers to greatness, like the ooze of oil Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod? Generations have trod, have trod, have trod; And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil; And wears man's smudge and shares man's smell: the soil Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod. And for all this, nature is never spent; There lives the dearest freshness deep down things; And though the last lights off the black West went Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs-- Because the Holy Ghost over the bent World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings. -Gerard Manley Hopkins
Sometimes, in between songs, when I have my earbuds in, I can hear my 'own' sounds. The strange thing is, sometimes, I recognize the sounds from other people. My dad clearing his throat, my mom's jaw that clicks every once in a while. Scary.
Funny things happen to me in libraries. This morning I happened to be arrive very shortly after opening time. I dropped off my books at the downstairs desk, said hello to the old gentleman librarian who was reading the daily paper, (he raised his eyebrows, peered at me over the top of his glasses; "Good! morning."), and ran upstairs to the children's wing. Where it was dark. No lights on. No librarian. Well. The door was propped open, and "I'm on good terms with Miss Nancy" I assured myself, so I ventured in. Light filtered in past the cat-in-the-hat paintings on the windows, so I could see where I was going. I could even read the titles on the audiobooks. Until I got further into the room. "Flashlight-time," I thought, and pulled out my keyring. I shone my little led light up and down the rows, trying to find 'Time Stops for No Mouse'. I noticed how mysteriously secretive the pale light looked, flashing over the spines of books and the black type of titles. This was when I realized how burglar-ish it all felt. I laughed to myself, and kept searching. On my way out, I met Miss Nancy, who apologized for running late. Her knee was giving her problems. Don't worry folks, I didn't get arrested for trying to find books in the dark.
On further thought, I probably could've just flipped the light switch to the 'on' position. Hmmm....
This afternoonmy sister, a friend, and myselfvisitedthe local coffee shop. 'Tis a good thing to do of aMonday afternoon. I ordered a macchiato, since I've been wanting to try it for oh, quite some time. "Do you want it the Starbucks way, or the Real way?" asked Chris, the barista who's into local history. (That's distinctive you see, as there is also Jared, the barista who whistles, and Josh, the barista who's the pastor. I don't know Sheena yet.) He proceeded to explain the difference between the two variations to me. I chose the Real way. Decaf. "Is that even Right?", my friend and I wondered. "Isn't that defeating the Purpose? Should espresso even be consumed if it's Decaffeinated?" (These are the highly moral discussions we get into at times.) I finally decided it was the only way I could try it, and still get to sleep before Wednesday morning. He brought it out eventually, and the wee black cup and saucer looked ridiculous in his huge hands. It felt ridiculous in my hands, and I have been told that I have small ones. It felt like playing at teaparties again. However, macchiato is a grown-up drink. Very. I have never drunk something so strong in all my life. I liked it, when I wasn't actually swallowing it. Don't ask me how that works. It must have been Decaf, because I've been yawning all evening.
I couldn't find 'Time Stops for No Mouse', so I chose 'Walden' by Henry David Thoreau. It turned out to be only short passages from the book. I was not impressed. My policy is to readbooks in their entirety, and with the exception of 'Moby Dick' and 'Les Miserables', I think I've stuck to it. I am planning to read those books in their unabridged form sometime in the near future.
Thoreau. I like his style of writing, how he strings words together, but I think that as a Christian I can not live life the way he did. I can not be a recluse, avoiding my fellow men. (Much as I wish I could at times.) I'm not saying you couldn't bring glory to God with a lifestyle like that. I think one could. His descriptions of the animals and nature surrounding him fascinate me, and make me marvel at the intricacy and creativity of God and His Creation. But I don't think it's for me.
He makes me laugh.
"Generally speaking, a howling wilderness does not howl: it is the imagination of the traveler that does the howling."
"I was more independent than any farmer in Concord, for I was not anchored to a house or farm, but could follow the bent of my genius, which is a very crooked one, every moment."
"I have a great deal of company in the house, especially in the morning when nobody calls." Ah, yes. A true wordsmith.
There. That is sufficient randomosity for the day.
P.S. It has come to my attention that the little cousin I referred to in "I Duel Five-Year Olds Before Breakfast", has grown up under my very nose, and is Actually Six. Already!!!!
Barefoot Days In the morning, very early, That's the time I like to go Barefoot where the ferns grow curly And the grass is cool between each toe, On a summer morning--O! On a summer morning! That is when the birds go by Up the sunny slopes of air, And each rose has a butterfly Or a golden bee to wear; And I am glad in every toe-- Such a summer morning-O! Such a summer morning!
P.S. Grandma A., every time I read this poem I hear it in your voice. It was one of the poems you recorded on that old cassette for me when I broke my leg. :)