Since I am trying to devote much of my blogging to Stories this year, I have decided to repost one of my favorite winter stories. This is a simple story, without a lot of plot twists or fancy literary devices, but one I think of often... whenever sunlight glitters on the snow of our hills and fields. If you missed it last year, or even if you are reading it again, I hope you enjoy this winter memory.
Our first winter in the Quiet Country House was a real "up north" winter, with lots of snowfall and cold enough weather for the snow to stick around. Senryu was in first grade that year, and Haiku not yet in school. Haiku was a wonderful little Mother's Helper during Senryu's school hours. It is true that she made quite a mess with the mixtures and potions that she would churn up in the kitchen, playing at either scientist or chef, depending on her mood. But, she was also very willing to dust, or run toys to the bedroom, or offer thoughtful, carefully-considered decorating advice.
Late in the afternoon, we would look at the clock and realize that Sissy would soon be home from school. No matter how much snow was on the ground... no matter how cold the air... if the skies were clear and blue, Haiku and I would put on our snow gear and trudge a quarter of a mile up the narrow, steep lane to meet Senryu's school bus.
On the first such snowy day, I pulled the sled up behind us as we climbed the hill. When Senryu got off the bus, she settled her little sister on the sled with her and they shoved off down the long, steep slope of our little country lane. As they flew over the glittering surface of the snow, I ran downhill trying to keep up with the sled. We laughed the whole way down the hill, filled with wonder at the beauty and sparkle of a January afternoon.
photo by Haiku, January 2006