Friday, December 10, 2021

Friday Ramble - Winter River


A bitter north wind brushes snow away from the ice on the river, and clouds of displaced snowflakes swirl through the air like confetti. Early morning sunlight paints a burnished golden trail from the other side of the waterway to the place where she is standing. Tomorrow is her nth birthday, and it was her departed soulmate's birthday too. She thinks of him as she shivers on the shoreline, her collar turned up against the bone-chilling commotion around her.

Light flickers through nearby trees and everything sparkles: river, snowdrifts, whiskery branches and frozen weeds along the shore. The scene is uplifting for a crotchety, elderly human poised in December's middling pages. She longs for light, and the sunshine is a shawl across her shoulders as it comes and goes through the clouds and the mist over the river—it's like honey in her cup.

Cattails, sedges and wetland grasses fringe the tributary all the way along, their stalwart toes planted in the frozen mud, and their desiccated stalks rattling and swaying in the wind. The plumes and spikes outlined against the stormy December sky are pleasing when one can actually see them, their artfully curling tops eloquent of something wild and elemental and engaging. So too are the frosted fields, fences and trees on the other side, the cobalt hues of hoarfrost, snow and ice, the pale light glossing the river, the diaphanous veil of cold vapor floating above everything.

There are no caroling birds by the river now, and there is silence for the most part, but she remembers the river singing in its exuberant springtime flowing, last summer's great herons motionless in the reeds at sundown, loons calling across the water in September before they departed. She thinks of Vladimir Nabokov's memoir, "Speak Memory". That might have been a good title for this post written in the depths of winter.

The world around her is a manuscript written in wind and light. How on earth is she going to fit sky, tempest and dancing snow into one 5x7 image?

4 comments:

Dee said...

Simply beautiful, both words and picture!

Lilian Nattel said...

How beautiful, and happy birthday for tomorrow

Pienosole said...

❤️Happy Birthday! ✨☀️

Mystic Meandering said...

Happy Birthday Cate!
Sending warmth to wrap around you :)