The Pace of Winter

The light in the valley begins to fade
into a frozen palette of grays and blues
He hauled a charge of tinder
by hand in a little black tote sled
to the fire pit at the far side of the farm
so we could sit in the warmth
of crackling poplar
and the company of best friends
Not speaking a word, enjoying
each others presence in silence,
the light dies around us

To compensate, we make our own light
Flickering shadows cast off into the evening
marrying with the Birches and the darkness beyond them
A gentle breeze drops wads of newly fallen snow
clinging as if they had intended
to fall from the limb in the first place
Refreshingly kissing my cheek
on their journey to the ground
A gentle whisper, pssst
from those that come to close
to stone or coal

Distractions still surround me
Branches knocking against each other
cloak themselves as ghostly intruders
A frozen pile of moose droppings
offered up like hors d’oeuvres
in her depression of last night’s bedding
The footprints of our neighbor with companion
still fresh from a morning stroll
A twig fell from the canopy
floating above the hoar frost
and begging to be chewed
The howl of another canine friend
echoing from the adjacent hillside
inquiring about the weather over there

Still there is no where
and no reason to go
There is no urgency
for any chore to be done
The temperature and interment
of all things summer and its impositions
make them too complicated to be done
Winter has a way of reminding me
to slow down and enjoy
the beauty of a lessened pace

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