The cardinal, for one, content to go about his business. The fox, for another, at ease in his auburn jacket. The groundhog, still putting off the errands she needs to run. The soft gaze of the doe regarding you, not for long, yet seeming for a brief moment to consider you as a being of great importance.
The frozen arteries of streams drawing lines to the lake that is the heart of this place. A cascade of water stopped dead in its tracks by earth science. Snow turning almost blue just after the sun slips behind west hill, like that framed photograph of Sweden in the waiting room at the doctor’s office, its top edge dusted once a month to the barren sound of an occasional cough, the next name called exactly as the last name was, a clean copy of how all future names will be called, unless the ratio of consonants to vowels tips the scale too far in a given direction.
Standing beneath spruce boughs watching snow flakes fall, unhurried, particles of ash or feather. Standing in close to the heart of the tree while wind sways the limbs, as if you have been welcomed aboard an evergreen ship charting an imaginary course up to Canada, or Nova Scotia.
Another storm warning issued, another mug of hot liquid slurped, welcomed into a body cocooned inside many layers of fabric, some woven by hand, some by machine, another silent halleluiah spoken either way. An obsession with time and temperature, forecast and calendar, with saying we know the new year will be a great one – this last among so many other unfounded claims, clothed in a strangely American propensity to keep one’s chin up.