Dec 23, 2012

Snow Angel

It was here, the best time of winter. The snow was deep and crisp, packing onto my soles and filling my insides with delight. I was bundled from my feet to my eyeballs; boots, coat, mittens, scarf, hat. All of it kept me cozy while I trudged through the deep white. There was a perfect spot in the middle of our back yard where the snow was untouched, unblemished. It was a blanket of white, in the truest sense. In fact, it was a poofy comforter of white covering every surface. Carefully I stepped out there, making sure my paces were even. Then, once hovering over the perfect spot, I spread my feet apart. I spread my wings. I threw my head back. I fell freely. I fell, and the snow caught me softly.

The satisfying crinkle against my downy coat tugged the corners of my mouth even tighter. I smiled even though my red, knit cap had fallen down over my eyes. I started to fly. My arms swished in the snow, my legs sliding too, matching the rhythm. I couldn't feel the cold of the winter weather. I couldn't see it. My warmth was coming from the inside, out. It was so joyous to be a snow angel. The wonder of winter filled me as I lay there, imagining what a bird would see if he were looking down at me. I gave a few more swipes with arms and legs for good measure and just lay there. The air was still, so still I could almost hear the feathery snowflakes landing on the earth. I listened intently.

The hardest part after falling was always getting back out of the snow, all the while not destroying the perfect silhouette. This was made even more difficult by the coat, boots, mittens, scarf, and hat. I sat up, pushed my red cap up, and surveyed my options. I could try turning around and climbing out, but I certainly did not want any hand prints disturbing the image of my fallen angel. I could try some ninja move, springing from the flat of my back to my feet, but I knew I did not have the skills for such an feat. My lips pursed and I bit them from the inside. Chewing I tried to think of another way. Nothing brilliant was coming to mind. How was I to get out of here?

I flopped back down into the arms of my angel and lay there, watching the grey sky drop the snow. I puzzled. I waited. Then, the answer to my prayer came. It was the form of a tall, barely bundled man. He had on a hat, a thermal shirt, jeans, boots, and huge mittens. It was my dad. He reached down and pulled me to my feet. Once standing I carefully stepped away from my angel to take it all in.

There she was, all white, perfectly symmetrical, and not a single hand print or smudge to be seen. It was as if an angel truly did drop from the sky, plant her wings, and fly away unscathed. She was beauty. She was perfection. She was one of a choir of angels I made that day with the help of my father. Then, my brother and sister joined us and the snow play got a little more boisterous.

Today, as the thick snowflakes fell, I remembered this moment I had with my dad. I never said a word, and I don't think he did either. We just soaked up the silence of snow together. We molded and shaped the landscape. We packed here, rolled there. We created angels, snowmen, and memories. I am looking forward to sharing those moments with my little boy. Those quiet moments of molding and shaping are important. They are the little things that build up a person, a character. I felt so safe in those moments. I felt part of something so much bigger. I felt the frozen time of forever. I felt the deepest love.

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