Soft, purple light seeps out of the landscape, frozen air slowly and silently darkens into night, the snow covered ground seems faintly luminous purple blue against the darker infinite sky. A few tall black evergreen trees stand next to the picture window, their curving tapered bows draped with snow. I am sitting in the yoga room at the spa at the ski slope waiting for employee yoga to begin. Off to the side, up the hill, the main lodge stands awash in orange light like a halo where the lower slopes are lit up for night skiing. The snow guns are blasting forth man made snow, minuscule ice crystals that drift down on swirling air currents. A winds blows up, charging up the valley, across the dark parking lot, tree branches silhouetted against warm glow of house lights bounce and sway. The cascading stream of frozen crystals from the nearest snow gun billows upward in a faintly glowing orange spiral then disappears into the darkness above the reach of the ambient light. I see dark swirls of snow erupt from the shadowed ground filling the night with a angry pelting greyish cloud that throws itself against the trees and window panes. The dark evergreen bows thrash in the wind catapulting snow into the wind where it splatters against the window, a bombardment of tiny frozen ice shards. The hair on my arms tickles momentarily as the air pressure in the room flickers while the wind surrounds the building and then quickly moves past. A dark wind on a blustery night.
Wet, chilly day, bird feeders hanging up to give them some extra energy on this grey day and to give our indoor cats something to watch. I am sitting on the sofa working on the laptop when a loud resounding thud startles me and the cat sitting on the window sill. It’s the distinctive sound of a bird who has flown into the window. I stand, the cat is also standing and very interested in something on the porch below the window. Oh no, that whack was too hard for it to have survived. I go outside to remove the poor thing from the porch. It’s down behind some miscellaneous stuff behind the rocking chairs. I see the grackle curled, one wing splayed, and head limp. Its beautiful feathers shining even in this grey light. I look up and see where it hit the window, a wet circular smudge in the dust on the pane, the cat on the other side watching me. I start moving objects out of the way so I can reach the poor little creature. I start to reach down to pick him (or her) up when he blinks at me. I pull my hand away, noticing how large and pointed its beak is. I can hardly believe he is still alive, and think maybe its wing is broken. I put on some gardening gloves and gently pick him up. He struggles only slightly against my efforts, in the process folding both wings back in a natural normal way. I set him down on the pillow on the rocking chair, quickly grab a small tangerine crate and some soft rags, make a impromptu bed, carefully place the grackle in it (his struggle a little less feeble this time), and softly cover him hoping to keep him warm and dry. I back away and watch him watching me. We stay that way for a long while, he tilts his head and blinks at me some more. Eventually he hops out of the box, scattering the rags that had covered him. He jumps to the wood pile testing his wings. Miraculously they seem to be uninjured,. He bobs his head a couple of times as it gathering the strength and courage to step back into the rain and takes flight, flapping a few times, and landing in a nearby tree. A few moments later he takes off and disappears from view out over the creek. This is the grackle that lived!