My ToDo list was getting longer than I prefer. So, after waking up early in the morning, I sat down and started writing emails, filing away papers, and preparing for another event-filled week of college. Through the window outside, darkness cut me off from the rest of the world, and I focused on the screen.
When I looked up an hour later, I could see the still white snow, finally at frigid rest on the cornfields underneath my window. A clean, powder-blue sky was painted in bold strokes in the western end of the world. And then I looked south. God has scattered his pastels once again, blending them smoothly in oranges, greens and pinks, here and there, a surprise of teal and dark mauve, framed in the clouds that looked like so many careful strokes. Through the trees I saw them, their frozen black arms struggling to move, frostbit but still alive, roots deep inside the chilly earth.
Across the road, past the few cornstalks who so desperately have stood in the face of wind and biting snow, across the neighbor's snowéd lane and a mat of frosty soy-chaff, a mist is rising from a little stream, the brown grasses and trees signaling a dark wound in the earth, yet warm enough to breathe before it too is frozen over.
I thank God for these the splashes of beauty amid the biting cold. And for a few moments, I forget the green world in this land of ice. It's as if God wants to use his entire palette, not just of color, but of sensation, of weather. There is joy here in the soft antiblanket of the snow and the crackling rustle of oak trees imprisoned in ice. Just as there is joy in the softness, in the budding life of spring, the jubilation of summertime warmth, and the panoply of falltime leaves.
And yet, I too can be surprised.
Peeking out my window to the south, I saw the dawn begin to flow over the world like a can of ill-mixed paint, splashing abstract color across the sky more masterfully than any human hand. I wondered that the western sky should be so dark, and yet, I expected it. The sun was rising, the world was becoming light again.
But the western sky was not completely dark. There was a bright light there, itself a soft pastel orange in a bed of powder blue. It was the moon. And as the sun rose, the moon set.
They saw each other for a short moment, those great lovers who dance the celestial dance, and then the moon slipped beneath the horizon's rim.
They must play hide-and-go-seek, for I fancy that the moon will surprise us by popping out behind the eastern horizon this afternoon, and be united again with the sun for the few hours before dusk, when all goes dark yet again, blank, clean, ready for another day's light, another day's living.