Winter

It is snowing tonight.

I bundled myself up to take Strider for his pre-bedtime walk.  Hat, thick gloves, winter jacket, boots.  As we made our usual lap of the parking lot, I found myself lingering.  Illuminated by the parking lot lights, perfect snow drifted down and my thoughts began also to drift.  Back to magical winters not so long ago, winters much like this one has been.

First the sight of pristine snow: a blanket of beauty unmarred as yet by footprints or sled tracks. Snow upon falling snow, until the plow piles were mountains to be scaled by the intrepid among us.   And we were all brave enough to climb to the top and sled down.  Even the plow piles were big enough to be sledding hills.  But better were the hills of our own back yard, where so many orange sleds were sacrificed to sled-Olympics.  We created our own events and it seemed like half the neighborhood would join us.  Sled Jump.  Freestyle Trick Sledding.  Sled Racing.  Sled Moguls down the landscape steps.  We had at least 4 or 5 sled runs in our yard alone, not to mention the ultimate sledding at Daredevil, a bigger hill in the woods behind the house.

There was another kind of sledding, too.  Dad had snowmobiles and would take us out into the woods and to the “bowls.”  I did eventually learn to drive the snowmobiles, but most often I would ride along with Dad.  Flying along through an unspoiled white world, the only sounds the strange, rhythmic growl of the engines and the sounds of snow, crunching, squeaking, and sliding beneath the tracks.  The headlights of the three machines, my brothers each on their own and me with Dad, lit the way before us as we flew over hills and banked through snowdrifts.  Sometimes I was sure we would not fit between those two trees, but somehow we always did.  If we got stuck in a snowbank, Dad got us unstuck.  To my young eyes he seemed so strong; just by hauling up one on of the snowmobile’s skis, he could pull us out of a snowbank.  Somehow our time snowmobiling always seemed so special.  Probably just because it was time with Dad.

We built snowmen, of course, and made snow angels.  It always frustrated me that I couldn’t get up from the snow angel without destroying it by stepping in it.  I still have yet to manage the perfect snow angel.  We had cross-country skis, and it amazed me that I could get so sweaty when it was so cold out.   We had the sleds, and snowmobiles, and snowball fights.  We pulled icicles off of the roof, and yes, sometimes we sucked on them. We ate snow too.  My brothers gave me “face-washes.”  I don’t remember if I ever managed to exact revenge on them.  We dug snow forts that seemed huge and amazing, or made snow tunnels on the picnic table that were smaller but no less amazing.  And all of this I loved.

But my favorite snowy moments were quiet ones.  After we’d tired ourselves out with play, and it was drawing close to time to go in.  I would lie in my sled in the middle of the back yard.  It often seemed like hours, though I’m sure it could never have been so long, simply watching the snow fall and dreaming.  Imagining.  Wondering.  It was perfect snow, fluffy and big.  Light enough to dance on the slightest breath of air.  Uncountable dancing flakes, illuminated by the flood light attached to the house.  Bundled up in my snow suit, hat and mittens (I have always disliked scarves), and warm winter boots with at least one pair of socks, I never felt cold.  Not then.  Not while drifting among those flakes.  Bright stars loosed from the dark sky, given leave to escape their fixed courses for a time to experience the joy of freedom.  Silver-white fairies danced to a strange music that could not be heard by the merely mortal.  When there was enough wind, the snow transformed into the star-streaks of hyper-space (or warp speed, depending on whether Star Wars or Star Trek was more recently viewed), and my little orange sled was my starship, whisking me off to worlds unknown.  At last, Mom would call us in.  Sometimes it took me some time to hear, and draw myself back from wherever my fancy had taken me.  There was always hot chocolate waiting, with mini-marshmallows to add.

Tonight, I was forced to call myself in.  Unlike the days when the hope for a snow day was not an unattainable fancy, I now know that no matter the cold or snow tomorrow will still be a work-day and I have to get up extra-early.  Despite this knowledge, I lingered in the snow.  We walked three laps of the parking lot instead of one, leaving my clumpy boot-prints next to Strider’s big, perfect paw-prints.  His coat was all-but encased in snow, easily fixed by a shake that sent those flakes flying back to rejoin their airborne siblings.   I looked to the sky, watching the snow dancing in the light and feeling the gentle kiss of snowflakes on my cheeks.  In that special silence of snow, in which the world recedes into a muffled distance, my thoughts turned to wonder, and dreams beckoned.  Had I a sled to lie in, perhaps I would be out there still.

Prints in the Snow

Advertisements

Today, Tomorrow, and Yesterday

I know I’m overdue on posting.  I haven’t been able to get myself to sit down and focus on writing something.  So instead, I decided to share some old poetry of mine.  I wrote this set of poems on Father’s Day of 2005.  While it was not the first Father’s Day after my Dad passed away (in April of 1991), it was the first after my mom passed (in December of 2004).  I went to church that morning and of course the message was all about dads.  I was heartbroken, and missing Mom and Dad terribly.  I cried the whole drive home from church, and then wrote the following.  As I re-read these poems today, I get a little teary again.  Though almost 9 years have passed, during which I’ve changed jobs 4 times and moved 4 times, I still feel much as I did then.  I still miss Mom and Dad, though most days it isn’t as sharp as it was that day.  I see in these words hopes I had then that remain unfulfilled.  Hopes I still have, though sometimes I wish I could forget them.


Today

Today I wept
For faces I will never see again
For voices only echoes
Made indistinct by time

Today I wept
Coming back to empty rooms
For dreams unfulfilled
Yet held tenderly by hope

Today I wept
For a man they’ll never know
Who searches as I search
For what lies over the horizon

Today I wept
For children still a dream
Their laughter bright
But muted in the unknown

Today He wept with me
Held me close to whisper all is well
Drew near to hear my dreams in prayer
And send the answer winging on its way


Tomorrow

Today is all I have
So often my gaze rests
On what is yet to be
On what lies around the bend

Yet today is all I have
There is no more than here and now

If here and now is all there is
What am I to do with all my dreams
I stand lonely and confused
So very close, but separate
From all my hopes

I won’t accept this loneliness
The dreams will have their day
When the veil of solitude lifts
And my soul has found its way


Yesterday

The shades of yesterday
Still watching over me
Their voices echo counsel
In the memories is love

Their lives are lived and gone
And with them one who was
In those days danced the dreamer
Unfettered by fears or pain

Her feet are heavy now
Her music lost to grief
Yet in her heart the rhythm runs
And the melody is sweet

There is no going back
To the steps of yesterday
But soon will come a new tune
To send our dancer on her way

 

 

© Rebecca Van Bruggen and Bound to Wonder, 2013-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Rebecca Van Bruggen and Bound to Wonder with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Blizzard: A Bit of Snow-Bound Silliness

A little confession for those who don’t know it:  I love winter!  So, In honor of our snowstorm, I thought I would share a little bit of silliness that I wrote several years ago during a similar snowy event (with one verse contributed by my sister-in-law, thanks Gina!).  This is a parody of the song “Flood” by Jars of Clay (an awesome song, check it out here).  For all of you who are currently plowing through tons of the white stuff, I hope this brings a smile to your face.

Blizzard

Snow, snow on my face
Hasn’t stopped snowing for days
My world is a drift
Slowly I become frozen and stiff

{Chorus}
But if I can’t ski after 40 days
And my mind is slush from the falling flakes
Lift me up so high that I cannot slide
Lift me out
Lift me out – out of the snow bank
Lift me out – I’m stuck on the roadside
Lift me out – I need you to find me
Lift me out – keep me from getting snowed in

Whitewashing my soul
Driving down the road, I’m losing control
White stuff all around
I can feel the wheels spinning around

{Repeat Chorus}

Calm the storms that shroud the skies
And slow the wind that’s blowing
Cast down the waves of lake
Effect that oversnow me

{Repeat Chorus}