When the major flurry of snow hit this week, you can well imagine that I took one more trip into the past, recalled such days in the canyons of home, and thought about the beauty that surrounded us.
Although I wasn’t one who was eager to have winter approach because of the chill in the air, I could take the time to appreciate that rugged land covered in white.
Of course, if the flakes happened to be accompanied by a northeast wind, we could stand on the porch and watch the snow fall up instead of down because of the updraft that whipped through that particular canyon. We’d have to walk up the hill toward the plains in order to see it fall normally, but I really preferred to stand on the porch in order to be near the stove.
We couldn’t really see much farther than the edge of that porch until the flakes thinned, and then we were in for a real treat because we could barely make out any of our usual landmarks across the canyon. We could see the cap rocks fairly clearly but couldn’t make out the road down to our other little house in the canyons, nor could we locate some of the other rock formations we so enjoyed on clear days.
As we would go about the chores of milking the cows, carrying in the wood, and carrying a few turns of water, we would note the beauty of that muffled silence that encompassed those canyons on such days. We could hear the crunch of the snow as we walked along, but we could hardly hear any other sounds. Even the cattle and horses seemed to become enveloped into that silence. I don’t even remember hearing echoes as we went about our work.
After night had fallen, we’d usually go onto that porch to look around and to be deafened by that same silence which might be broken by the howling of coyotes and the hoots of an owl or two, but even those sounds seemed muted. If the clouds had disappeared, we would go into the yard to admire the stars that seemed close enough to touch. They shone so brightly on the snow that we just enjoyed the sparkles. I remember feeling smaller than usual when standing in that yard and admiring those heavens.
I usually found one of my parents’ hands in order to feel fairly secure as I wasn’t the bravest person in those canyons on such nights and just needed to move close to someone.
If we were fortunate enough to have moonlight on such a night, we would watch our shadows and those of the animals passing by. That scene could also cause me to get just a little skittish because some of those shadows seemed down right eerie in that silence. I was usually the first one ready to return to the house to stand beside the stove, to think about the coming day, and the morning chores that would cause all sorts of chill blains.
I rather enjoyed those memories as I sat in a warm house and knew I wouldn’t have to break ice on the water barrel or have to get kicked all over the cow lot because my hands were too cold to be tolerated. Although I surely would have enjoyed some of that fresh milk, I was willing to settle for whatever I could find in the refrigerator.
Just think of some of your favorite snow scenes and be prepared to settle in for some more cold weather. What fun as long as we don’t have to do the chores!