the day’s brightness
hair, icy wet,
in circled arms
our too-small sleds spin out
toward each other
I wrote this poem in December 2013, but my heart remembered it today when walking the dogs with my husband Mike on the icy pavement, the morning after the first snow of the season. There was sun, but it wasn’t warm (and certainly not melting anything!), and the morning sky was this bright Virgin-Mary blue against the silvery white of snow on all the branches – and I could hear, but not see, the sound of children sledding in the school yard, which is near our home – their laughter and shouts like bells, heralding memory in sweet beautiful waves, of childhood and joy and hope – the sound, I have to believe, the same for all time of children at play in a first snow.
[But then, Dear Reader. if I were to be even more honest with you, which I guess I am being – the seed of this poem hearkens back a million more years to a similar day, in our first family home on Julian Street, when all the kids were small and the idea of racing outside in the snowy cold, dragging sleds and snow-suited children, was not an entrancing idea to most adults. But it was to me, this absolute need to be outside in it – to be en-wrapped in the magic and beauty of it. And he, my best friend, but a man married to another, a similarly practical, more sedentary spouse, said “yes, let’s go!” and off we went towing the kids behind us – sledding down hills ourselves, laughing for the pure joy that it brought us and our kids.
It is a memory of love that my heart forever holds – this moment of reveling in life with another, of being truly alive in the world. It was (and still is) a North Star moment for me. Its the image my heart holds, reminding what it feels like to be true to myself, what it means to love, to journey with another, and what it means to truly be alive in the world.