I don't mind those first
few cold days of winter. I think the pristine whiteness of that
first measurable snowfall is beautiful - and the newly white world
serene and breathtaking. I like the way the sound cracks in the
cold, clear, crisp air and I love to look at the skeletons of the
summer trees when they are dressed it their covering of ghost-white
My mind's vision of snowy hills and wistful flakes drifting through
the winter twilight is both a happy one and a sadly nostalgic one.
Never again will I be a small boy dragging a red sled behind me -
and standing at the top of a mighty hill, looking down toward the
bottom with trepidation and excitement. Never again will I be a
young child with frozen fingers and toes, running home to glowing,
warm house and a sweet cup of hot chocolate - that tastes even
sweeter now because I know my mom made it for me from scratch. It
was not the instant kind from a pouch.
With a profound and melancholy yearning, I picture myself a child,
lacing up his new ice skates, sitting next to a warm, blazing,
bonfire. As surely as this movie has been indelibly etched in some
deep, untouchable corner of my mind, so have the happy sounds of
laughter of the children gliding by me. I can hear their skates
making clear sharp sounds as they slide and scrape the smooth and
strangely-blue ice. These sounds are recorded in somewhere in
another almost hidden sector of my mind. Wherever these vibrant
memories are stored in my mind, whenever I play this back this scene
in my mind, the soundtrack is always synchronized perfectly with the
movie that I watch in my memory.
A shiver runs through me as I recall those happy days and a deep,
dark sorrow grips me for the days I can never live again.
Winter is an amalgam of happy and sad, of yearning and contentment,
of sweet and bitter. I wonder how I became what I am and I wonder
what I'll be years from now. I wonder if the reflections of the past
are somehow honed by time into something they never were. Maybe what
is too painful to remember our minds simply choose to erase. Maybe
it is the laughter and happy times I remember most easily. Maybe
those sad, dark, and bitter memories become more and more difficult
to recall after time has had a chance to massage and erode them.
Maybe my mind works its magic secretly, and unknown to me, it has
been busying itself filtering, eroding and erasing. Maybe the day
will come when I won't be able to recall the bitter, sad, hurtful
memories at all anymore. Maybe its a the natural filter of time at
work and maybe all I am and all I will ever be is filtered by my
perceptions of the memories I can recall most easily and not so much
by those which are faded and difficult to remember.
I don't think I want those bad memories filtered so much. I want to
remember the dark, hurting, sad days too. I'm not sure why - it just
seems they are as much a part of me as the happy ones. I think I am
the sum of them all; I am the sum of the happy and the sad. I am the
sum of the bitter and the sweet, of the bad and the good, of the
morose and the sublime.
Today, though, I am the boy with the red sled and the shiny new ice
skates. Having long since said goodbye to summer, and with autumn
struggling to stave off the hard, biting winds of winter, I will
look out the window today waiting for those first few flakes of
snow. When I see them I will run outside and look up at the sky and
catch a snowflake on my tongue.
There will always be a child inside me; it is the child inside the
man. And, I love the gifts he gives me too much to ever let him go.