There was a moaning in the trees, brittle with the frost, as a cold wind blew through them this morning. The rustling whispers of a few weeks ago have passed for the year. No more leaves to add their sounds to the breeze, just the dry crackling of frozen boughs.
The song of the forest is slowing down, and the back beat of the river is speeding up. Like the drums of war that announce the arrival of snow.
‘I am laughter,’ says the summer, ‘Come bare your toes and warm your heart.’ ‘I am solemnity’ Says the winter, ‘Hide your flesh and glory in my gloom.’ Yes the dancing of summer is done with bare breasts, smiles, and swaying to the moon in a southern breeze. Winter is the dance of stomping feet to warm them up, rubbing frozen fingers in warm pocket liners, and jiggling up and down while standing still.
Where once fragrant blossoms peered through your window and teased passing butterflies with nectar, now ice flowers bloom on the panes and capture wayward moths that came seeking your light bulbs.
I have an issue with the cold, Old Man Winter and I have had arguments in the past, and I am currently giving him the silent treatment. He exacts his revenge by stealing the life from my fingers, squeezing my joints till they ache and pop, freezing the water by my bed to leave me thirsty, creating a rime of ice on my blankets from the moisture of my breath, making me draw in my shoulders like I carry the weight of the season upon them. He is a worthy adversary, this cantankerous old geezer, and he has gotten the better of me on more than one frigid morning.
I do have an ace up my sleeve, however, because I am a child of summer. Born when the moon was high and a southern breeze blew across a texas prairie. While a coyote called to sweet grass whispers, I was pushed into the world with that golden sun clenched in one red little fist. I have it still in the secret shadows of my soul, and it’s memory thaws my heart even as my extremities cut through the cold sharp air of the mountains.
I am made of the sunshine and I am held by the moon, so this passing fancy of cold lacy frills on the skirts of the river is a style I will not be wearing.