Footprints in the Snow

The snow is deep, my dear, and each treacherous step I take, I am closer but further from you. Some snow drifts carry the weight of my worries to the icy plain before me. The tracks of bootprints are no one's but my own. Yet in circles, I come to the place I've been before. But I'm no longer the naive trekker I once was. Still, confusion does not leave those who think and ponder too deeply, for I know not which tracks to follow. There are ways out across the thinly iced river, or tracks up the steep mountain side, or easy paths to the nearby cottage.

Across the river, it is spring and it is day. The blue sky holds clouds of cotton candy; the plains are fileds of wild flowers. The streams, spreading branches of the frozen river are clear and sparkling. How sweet the fragrance and how tender the gail... How beautiful are dreams... But a frozen river is an obstacle beore me, and so often the drifts carry me astray.

I fear the trek up to the frozen mountain top. The lonely heights are breath-taking and the wind can whip through my hair, I can smile as the wind cuts, for I would be strong. On these grey blue mountain stones, I stand on a jagged edge. I would have triumphed, though it is lonesome up here. I've been here, I wish to returen, and I fear the fall... How strong does one have to be, to stand against the howling wind up here?

I fancy the cleared path to that warm cottage. It may go nowhere but a shelter I shall have. With warm tea and milk biscuits, what is this cold to me then? Some smiles like warmth from the fireplace, and I can relax for now... Is the future more than an extended present? I wonder as I fall silent before the mantle heat. It is a fancy that goes nowhere and we all know. Yet some fearful sdie of me wishes for the safety here.

So here I stand, in four feet of snow. Which track dare I go? How I wish my wings were stronger and I can fly to the top of the mountain, and across the river, and to the cottage's backyard. But I have no wings, nor the magic to fly me to imaginary places. So here in the snow pile I stamp my feet. I write these words with trembling fingers... Like shouts to echo through the spaces around me! January 16, 2002