My husband and I took a walk in the snow today. Not at a ski slope or on a mountain trail. Just out the door, down the driveway to the road, then a three-and-a-half mile trudge through suburban streets.
The snow was falling around us. Our boots made scrunching sounds against three inches of wet snow, yet unplowed. Along the roadside, white banks rose to our knees. There was no wind. It was quiet. We were wonderland explorers, alone.
Each tree, shrub and stem was coated in downy white flake. Conifers, iced, over muted color, were pleasing to the eye. In near whiteout, wetted tree trunks stood dark, only tawny beech leaves recalling bare earth. The sky, opaque and gray, transformed to peachy mist; to aquamarine and matted blue: metallic against flat.
No stranger to snow,
I’ve lived in cold climates most my life.
Rarely though have I interacted with the snowy world
As I have today,
When the sky, at sunset,
Cannot stop glowing with peaches and blues and silver.
When all is silent,
The trees standing tall
Sculpted with white powder.
No wind rocking them,
Causing frozen branches to creak or click;
No moaning gale in their crowns. Just: still.
In white sacraments they stand witness to ghosts:
Chestnut, Elm, Hemlock, Ash
Look at this world. Look at what surrounds you.
Listen, for the unspeaking have something to tell.
The silent ones have something to say
On this soft, white day of heightened sense.
We stop and we listen.
We acknowledge to one another that we feel something—
As if the world around us claims us through quiet strength,
Like a loving parent.
Children again, we are happy to be taken in.
Like children again,
We walk home.
Cleo Rawdon Sonneborn worked for The Direct Company, a music distribution business in Monroe, for several years before earning her master’s degree in education at Sacred Heart University. She taught English as a Second Language classes for non-matriculated students at SHU and for recent immigrants, through a program sponsored by the Danbury Board of Education. Jon Sonneborn co-founded and co-owned Really Good Stuff, a mail order company that sold educational supplies to teachers and schools. Both Cleo and Jon are retired and happy to be continuing their life in beautiful Easton.
Photo at top: Winter view in Easton — Jon Sonneborn Photo
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