The Sun Of Lapland
It was an optimistic sky, wearing robin’s egg blue, that nudged me awake in the morning. A sky unaware of the future, unconcerned with the past, it beckoned me come outside with long fingered rays that reached through my curtains and tickled my bed. Though tempted, I had heard the warnings, seen glimpses of the weatherman wringing his hands as he stood by his map now vivid with the pinks and whites of ice and snow. So I shut my eyes against the tranquil tent above my head, and struck out with a list in my hands, to gather up all the essentials I'd need for a long winter's night in the snow.
To the feed store for bird seed.
To the farmers market for navel oranges and honeycrisp apples.
Fresh green vegetables and armloads of white flowers.
Pots of white hydrangeas with blooms the size of a sheepdog’s head.
To the knit shop for advice on how best to shape the neckline of the caramel coloured sweater I’m currently knitting.
To the bakery for cinnamon bread.
And sure enough, that carefree blue sky was in full retreat and a queer silence was descending as I hurried back home with my staples. With firewood stacked and chicken soup simmering, and Edward asleep on my feet, I sat down to patiently wait.
Did it come?
Oh yes, it came.
Unheard, almost wraithlike, it fell all around us. It fell and it fell and it fell. With the dedication of an athlete and the talent of an artist, this snow plunged down at rates of speed rarely seen in our little corner of the world, painting us inside a landscape worthy of Pissarro. It covered us so quickly it seemed to fairly bubble up from the frozen ground, to bloom like a strange winter flora all over the bare trees.
I ran outside.
As if hidden inside a grey Chinese lantern in a sky hanging close to the Earth, the Moon lit up the garden like the Sun of Lapland. It cast an eerie blue light, bright enough to easily spot a big white furry dog as he scampered amongst the black trees at midnight. Bright enough for the silhouette of a great horned owl to float across the white garden floor like a velvet clad dancer at a winter cotillion.
I stood marble-frozen in the garden at one in the morning, shin deep in this exceptional snow, enveloped in the silence created by this heavy blanket of eiderdown and, much like that blissful blue sky of the morning, I found myself happily unaware of the bother that can arise when one is completely snowed in. I only thought how marvelous it looked, how delightful it felt, and how inviting was the orange glow that shone out at me from the cottage windows.
I thought of the fire now roaring in the fireplace.
The mugs of Horlicks.
The stacks of books.
The knitting, the white flowers, the crisp sheets.
So we scrambled back inside, the big dog and I.... where we now remain, deliciously snowed in! For two days and counting.