Snow shower

I hadn’t checked the overnight forecast and wasn’t sure whether the stock waters would freeze. The optimist in me thought it would be mild so I turned the heaters off at chores; a few hours later the temperatures dropped with the setting sun. I was bundled up but as my face hit the night air I could feel moisture on my forehead. A light on the barn illuminated the slate walkway and I could see that it was wet and that the grass on either side was frosted with patches of snow; I moved carefully for I knew that ice had formed in spots. My face was wet but I could not determine in what form the precipitation was falling. I went to the milk room and turned on a light which illuminated the north side of the barn. Joanna was with me and together we turned up the hill and circled round to the large sliding doors which lead to the haymow. Several years ago, on a clear summer day, a rogue burst of wind rushed down the mountain, into the open doors of the mow, and blew out the east wall of the barn. We learned then never to leave those doors open. We linked the north and south wall headers with chain, bolstered the union between the north and east walls with angle iron, and the left side door can now be bolted fast to the concrete. I opened the right side door and stepped into the darkness and turned, careful to avoid the drive shaft of the haybine which I knew to be at the right height to do damage to my shin if I should walk into it. There was an extension cord by the pig pen; this lead to an element which heats a water tank in the ram pasture. I plugged it in. Joanna was standing in the open door and as I turned my eyes beheld the vision below. It was snowing and the long exposure made the illuminated and rapidly falling flakes look as if they were sparks from fires above. One might have been led to believe that a meteor had passed overhead and set the night air ablaze. She stood quietly as I squeezed off several frames. When we walked together I asked what she had been thinking as she stood. She said that she was remembering what it was like to be a kid when she was able to enjoy the snow for its beauty and for the fascination that it held. She observed that now, even though snow remains every bit as beautiful, it brings with it a certain amount of work and a number of concerns of which she was unaware as a child. I suppose that’s what growing up is all about. When we are young we have the luxury of being responsible for little more than ourselves. As we grow and mature the scope of our responsibilities widens. Although that may be true, I hope that most of us manage to hold on to a vision of life which sees beauty in simple things and in simple pleasures. For when all of life is distilled and its myriad complexities are driven off, what else is there?Snow1

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