January 16, 2008

Shadow and light

Almost dusk

I was just a kid when I began to notice the way winter evenings reach backwards into late afternoon.

Sometimes I'd be outside playing ice hockey on the skating pond with my brother and his friends, or building a fort with my brother in the drifts of snow near the pine trees, or shoveling the driveway because my father was on his way home from work. I'd feel that sudden drop in temperature, the coldness that comes with the long blue shadows.

Other times, I'd be in the house, doing homework at the card table set up in front of the picture window, or reading a book on the couch, and I'd notice that the room was getting dim, that I couldn't quite see the words on the paper. I'd look out the window to see the world in cold shadow, with just the white snow glowing.

I'd switch on the lamps, the golden light spilling onto my books and papers. Or if we were outside, we'd come in, stamping the snow off our boots, stripping off wet mittens and scarves and snowpants. The house smelled like baking usually, cookies or bread, or perhaps pot roast or chili, something hot for supper. I'd hear my mother in the kitchen, spoons or pot lids clinking. Soon she'd call me to set the table, pour the ice water.

The lights in the house turned the big picture window into a dark mirror, but when I pressed my face against it, I could see outside and watch snowflakes falling against a darkening sky.


julieunplugged said...

Pretty house! We don't have curtains on our windows either. Love the yellow glow.

YourFireAnt said...

You deserve the Pulitzer for that first sentence, Jo(e).

Great writing.


Yankee, Transferred said...

I'm speechless.

Danny said...

I was all excited when we moved to southern California a few weeks ago. But reading your post makes me miss the days when I lived in a place where it snows.

Readersguide said...


Rae said...

Oh, I love that photo with the cozy lights inside.

I awarded you with a ROAR! award for powerful writing. I'd love to hear your tips for writing...