Cold morning, bundled up tight, hat pulled down, scarf wrapped, gloves on, coat zipped, ice in the parking lot, air stinging my nose and throat, start the long trudge up the hill to work… Watching where I carefully put my feet (don’t want to fall), when I realize this is actually fresh real snow, not the blown stuff the snow guns make, and the groomer has not been by here yet. I am entering a vast expanse of smooth blue-white virgin snow. In the indirect, shadowed, morning light all the contours are flattened. Mine are the first foot prints! I start waking more deliberately, purposely, and look back where I’ve been to see the single track of distinct boot marks making their way up the hill. My mark although brief, first foot prints of the day!


Waking up reluctantly, unwillingly becoming conscious, it’s been a rough night, still feeling ill and nauseous, want to roll over and go back to sleep. Two sleeping cats tangle in the blankets as I move, they disapprove of the ruckus I have created. I open my eyes to pet and smooth ruffled fur, entice them to stay in bed, my ears fill with their purring. Squinting as bright white light pours into the room, streaming through the window, sunlight splintered and magnified by hundreds of millions of zillions of fresh fluffy snowflakes covering everything. Six inches has fallen over night with more coming down. Every tiniest twig, every smallest branch, every limb, every crook in every bare tree, every tiniest hemlock needle, every smallest flat hemlock bunch, every drooping dark green branch, all of all things is coated in a layer of fluffy glistening snow, several inches tall balanced perfectly precariously. I am overcome by awe and joy at the amazing winter wonderland I have awoken to. A breeze plows over the hillside, flakes lift onto air currents, swirl, twist, obliterate sight, a churning roiling fog of snow, complete white out, then lifts and settles as the breeze dies away. More snow falling!


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