Wednesday, February 16, 2011
As I sat here this morning working and waiting for the sliver of pink I so often see in the east just before day truly breaks, what I saw instead were flashes of white against the clinging darkness. It was snowing. I figured it would be a few random flakes that would turn to rain soon, as is often the case here.
The lighter it got, however, the heavier the snowfall. Soon the ground was as white as the air, and not much later I found myself surrounded by winter.
There have been many times when this snow would have been a burden to bear, an occasion to escape into some warm comfort. Today, I'm finding a deep and healing comfort in its presence. The cold of a snowy day is much different than the cold of a rainy day. Snow cold is clean and alive and rushes into my head like the scent of lavender in the summer.
The world is two colors right now: the purest white possible, and everything else muted to a dark green. Simple and soothing.
Kathleen's death, her absence, has been close this week. Somewhere I read that you never get over losing a child, it just becomes more permanent over time. It feels as though another line has been etched in stone. I don't know why now, and I guess it doesn't matter.
For a time the snow fell in thick sheets, filling the air with what looked like little tissues sent directly from heaven to honor tears spilling from a broken heart.
Later I stood on my front porch, trying to capture something of the magic with my camera, and just stood for a bit. Bare-footed. No coat. No protection at all. My feet grew quickly numb and I didn't mind. It made me think that some numbness is necessary to allow space for healing, to give rest. Paradoxically, the cold also brings feeling into much sharper focus.
I absorbed the weighted stillness, a silence only possible under snow's sound-damping blanket. A vast empty space big enough to hold all my sadness and all my gratitude in one embrace. And it felt like such a gift, that absolute nothingness containing the promise of everything.