I called the bus driver today to tell her that our road was still too bad for travel, and that I'd be keeping my older two home today.
Before my husband left for work, I put on a fleece jacket, a toque, and my boots, and ventured out into the pristine world left by yesterday's snow with camera in hand.
This late winter snow is sticky and heavy, and clings to everything it touches. It balances on the clothesline and on every little twig in the woods.
It knits itself into quirky, lopsided hats on every fence post.
The snow throws itself at flat surfaces with wild abandon, as if Mother Nature took a shine to Jackson Pollack's work and decided to give it a try, in monochrome.
Thick curls of snow slide slowly off tin roofs, and I imagine Hansel and Gretel scooping it off like frosting, with greedy fingers.
I clamber over the pile left by our neighbour's snow plow, and peek through to the potting shed, thinking of Mr. Tumnus and the Beaver family in their perpetual winter.
I acknowledge a moment of gratitude that my car will stay parked where it is today, and that my only obligations today are feeding the fire with wood and keeping my children warm and fed.
To continue with the silly metaphors, this old barn is an aging beauty, who overdoes her face powder a bit. Contrary to her intent, it calls her perfect imperfections into stark relief, and makes me love her more.
The trees around our farm bear the burden of snow with grace and loveliness, because it shows their textures off so effectively.
The sharp lines of fences and trellises are softened by the feathery drifts that grasp each wire.
In this world of grey hues, the only colour to be found is on my front porch in the shape of a bench and some coloured glass. Before I step up, I pause with my eyes closed, to just listen to the sound of chickadees, the almost imperceptible "ping" of tiny snowflakes landing on my hat, and the absence of all other sound. The world around me has been muffled, and I take a deep breath in conscious preparation for the many noisy moments that lie in wait once I return to the inside.
As I reach for the door, I see this little footprint and I almost look behind me to see if the Tomten has been following me all this time. I picture him whispering blessings to all of us as we wait for winter's last word, then open the door to the scent of coffee and woodsmoke, and the sound of my children's voices.