The first real snow has fallen - just enough to leave footprints in. What exhilaration she felt at seeing those first flakes come tumbling down. And what panic she felt, for a moment, at seeing them stay and stick. So this was it, then; what was done was done, and the rest would wait for spring. That instinctive dread in the face of such authority as a snowstorm: it must be born of generations, of lineage through epochs, each one of us caught in a still life, holding a rake or harvest basket or some other tool, and looking up at the sky, bemused, wary, resigned, frightened.

She took a deep breath, and then another, consciously drawing air in, letting air out. It steadied her. And now she could think more clearly, dare to think ahead to the festivals of light and feasts, of celebrating the return of warmth and life to the earth even as it was in the midst of the cold and dark.

She knew she would stay on, hold out, persist, endure. And as she turned, everything around her began to take on the appearance of an Austrian bake shop window, cakes, biscuits, tortes, sweetmeats all dusted in confectioner's sugar and she a solitary figurine atop a fruited harvest pudding.

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© 2003 by Pamela Thompson, Giving Ground - all rights reserved

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