Yep, a little play on Frost's words. I can't help but have my thoughts drift that direction on just such an evening as this. The snow falls outside my window, silent as prayer falling from heaven. The skies are heavy and thick--the night enveloped by a darkness that denies moonlight. And the world outside has the kind of hush brought only by snowfall. While the voice is silenced, the mind is brought to a raucous. We turn inward, and look at ourselves. We stand on a precipice; behind us--the daylight and the frenzy of getting ready for the snow. Before us, the darkness that hides what our imaginations can only picture of the morning light. Hmm... Little children we are, waiting for snow angels, and snowmen, and a sled or a toboggan.
Okay, little children forever in our hearts. But, my grown up imagination is picturing the morning light, birds in a frenzy at the feeders, while I watch from the warmth of my kitchen, the snow fall. All this as I sit in my rocking chair with a cup of hot tea in my hands, feeling unbridled pleasure at the world in front of me.
Snow quite effectively transcends time.
When I was young, it was such a thrill to get a big snowfall. There were sleds in the yard--we lived on a hillside--and some have said (my father among them) that we grew up with one leg longer than the other from trying to stand level. We would dash outside and get the sleds, and the one old aluminum flying disk, and proceed to turn the path to ice. I know; we were to ride down across the "pathless" area beneath the big maple tree, but the path was just so perfect for riding sleds. Then dad would "holler" at us. We would scram to get away from his unhappiness, then reappear later to do it again. But, <sigh> dad had the remedy for icy paths, the cinders from the fireplace. Since we slacked it down with coal at night, the cinders were the perfect grit to make a human move across ice like a goat moves across a mountainside. But, alas, cinders stopped a sled in its tracks. Unfortunately, just because the sled stopped didn't mean that the person on the sled stopped with it.
Years went by as years do--in a perfect life. We were a little older and had graduated to riding the sleds outside of the yard. There was the hill behind the outhouse. If you did it just right, you didn't hit the old Case Tractor or the pile of pipes beside it--or worse, that big rock in front of the corn-crib. But if you went too far the other way, you could actually hit the barn. The broad side of the barn. :-) My brothers were masters of maneuvering just right. And that hill was steep.
It was only a couple of years until we began a new winter sport. There was the hillside across the little "crick" that flowed through our hollow. No-not-never mind that it had big rocks at the bottom, and if you made it around the rocks, the creek was waiting for you. We had no toboggan, and with eight kids looking for a way from the top to the bottom--with little effort, car hoods turned out to the just the ticket. Those old hoods from junked cars...I tell ya! The front of the hood was upturned just like a toboggan, once you laid them upside down. And all eight of us could fit inside one. And the best part for me was that eight of us just could not pull it back up the hill. There was not enough room for eight strands of braided binder-twine with a kid tugging on each. So we younger ones only had to drag our little butts and short legs up the hillside. The older sisters and brothers tugged the hoods back up to the top. Little effort flying down the hill, but not the case going back up. We didn't go out and ride the hood all day like we did the sleds. My goodness, it wore out the older kids.
Then...at long last, we were old enough to ride down the "big hill" on the lane. The one with the bend at the bottom. The one with the big old hollow oak tree on the outside of the bend at the bottom. The one with the deep and wide ditch just past the oak tree at the bottom--and the big rock setting on top of the pipe that fed the big wide ditch at the bottom.
I know...they were "steering" runner sleds. But, in hindsight, that "steering" part of it was advertising propaganda. There wasn't much steering to it. I think we had to drag our legs with our toes scraping the ice beneath us to get any kind of directional change. And...sometimes the change was too late, or just as bad, not the direction we needed to change to.
We had to take turns on the "steering" runner sleds, and I don't think that I ever actually went the whole way up to the field lane--a half mile from the house. But others did.
And others bled at the bottom of the hill. And sometimes, others cried the whole way to house. It lasted long enough for them to get patched up and then head back out to do it all over again.
Ahhh...when you're a kid, ain't life grand?
Memories...they make me smile, make me shake my head...
I think tomorrow, I might just venture out and be daring. I might give it a try again.
Making snow angels.
Maybe not. Pretty risky. I could get snow up my back... or anything.
Must be a reason that as we get a little older, on a snowy evening such as this, we excitedly picture the morning...the snow, the world magically transformed beyond yesterday's precipice...the birds in their feeding frenzy...hot tea...the rocking chair... ;-)