Monday, January 4, 2010

After the Storms

NOTE: Written yesterday (Sunday).

The sun's just coming up. The clouds over my neighbour's houses across the street are brilliant pink, cutting across the sky like ribbons after the chaos of Christmas morning.

The post-storm snow lies crumpled on the curbs, a mishmash of white and brown and bits of black. Despite two storms back to back, the buildup isn't that bad. We had a little rain in between, albeit a frozen rain. Cleanup won't be as easy the second time around. The first storm left light, easily shoveled drifts, but now we have firmly packed, waterlogged piles. And the repeated passage of the plows only adds to the compaction.

The odd chirping bird breaks the silence of the morning. Then the cars add the gentle swoosh of tires through a thin layer of road slush. The crows are uncharacteristically quiet so far. I hear one or two when the sun first starts to brighten the sky, but they're holding back now. Most mornings, the crows serenade the neighbourhood, poor cousins to the magpies that they are.

As the sun rises higher behind an obscuring curtain of clouds, the pink ribbons drop from view. The barest hint of yellow may still be glimpsed through the trees. Dawn is past. Now the morning truly begins. The familiar, persistent background drip coming from the rain gutters assures me the snow is slowly receding already. Unless we get another storm, these unsightly lumps will pass soon enough.

Despite the fact that I'm not a morning person, I actually enjoy these early hours when I happen to be awake for them. There's a certain solitude that comes very close to what I experience during the overnight hours that are my preference.

Most of the world is still in bed, or at least lying low somewhere in their homes. There's no reason to go out. No rush to get to work or to an appointment. We can all just relax and enjoy the quiet. Time enough later for the rush and bustle of life.

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