The sound of the woods changes dramatically after the snow storm. I am in a white padded room where the hush of my breath is the loudest noise I hear. If I move slowly past the dusted trees, the only other sound I hear is the sound of my feet packing the wet snow, a sound like satin sliding against a wall. Nothing else is moving in the early morning woods. I am the first to leave a mark on the way to the river. I hate that my mark is large and ugly. I wish I could fly like a bird leaving only the flick of a flake...arriving with just a dusting from a branch.
Having a camera to capture and preserve the purity and sinless beauty when nature blankets all the corners and jagged breaks and shafts of darkness with soft whiteness brings a preserved moment of peace. It seems to arrest time for just a bit. I feel as if a restart button has been pressed when I look at my winter album. It is time for us to stop, sigh, and hold our thoughts. Time to be solid in our place in the universe, time to be a part of the beauty. Time to study how the platforms of ice move slowly against each other gently shoving and adjusting how they fit in complete and peaceful silence with the others.
But nighttime in this white world is a different game.
This night I am snuggled deep in the soft quilt and just drifting into a rewarding sleep after my day of chores when the shrieking cry of a woman being sliced open pierces the darkness. I hold my breath and race to the top window that overlooks the yard. The loud and haunting cry comes again and again like a knife through the dark. It is the reminder from the red fox that the world needs to plan for a fertile spring well ahead of time. It is time to think about rebirth even earlier than we expect.