Monday, January 14, 2008

dusting off cobwebs

It's funny how some memories float to the surface and linger there after being tucked somewhere down deep in the recesses of the mind for years. We had something of a bleak afternoon yesterday, with dark, foreboding clouds that ushered an early darkness into the day. It was reminiscent of a day, long ago, when I went on a skiing weekend in New Hampshire with a neighborhood family.

Wind and blinding snow must have kept us from the slopes on the particular day in question. My friend Sarah and I bundled up and ventured out into the field behind the house where we were staying to explore the terrain and play in the snow. I remember the expanse of that field and a range of mountains beyond its limits, and it is that scene that is etched in my memory. It was a bitterly cold day, windy and overcast, with cloud cover so low and gray that if we jumped high enough we probably could have touched it. The overwhelming impression was that it was the very definition of bleak. The cold and gray seemed to penetrate more than just our bones, leaving behind an almost haunting sense of the power of nature and our insignificance in its midst. At the same time, it was irresistable, and perhaps that is why the memory lingers and is conjured when a similar darkness thrusts itself into my life.
That cold winter day has returned to my mind several times in recent months, prompted by wintry conditions and my own deep desire for a substantial snowfall. It has also made me mindful that I miss my friend Sarah, whose whereabouts are unknown, and whose friendship will linger in my memory as a ray of sunshine in a bleak winter day. Yes, memory is an intriguing thing...

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