Monday, February 16, 2009

Veil of Silence

Snow falls gently, almost undetected, for two days.

A veil above; a veil below. The translucent sky nestles us in with milky air. The upper chasm closes in, as though a sheer curtain were draped over our world. The accumulated snow hovers timidly on our soil, the merest breeze threatening to whisk it into a neighbouring county.

Silence above; silence below. The world quietly poses under the opaque sky, resting, waiting, holding its breath, whispering in hushed tones.

Secrets are unfolded in the quietness of the creamy veiling. We listen to the sound of silence.

I walk a mile from home, then stand still and strain my ears. The wind breathlessly brushes over the strings of telephone wire. A motor runs on the Colony two miles away. I think I can hear the voices of Hutterite men. This would never happen on a clear day, where the breeze carries our breath away and bids us run and work at his speed.

No, today the world is still, and we hear. The rustle of my windpants seems all-consuming; the panting of our gimpy dog follows me; the absence of vehicle motors secures me in solitude’s arbour.

Today the world is white, and we see. Sparrows pecking on the road leave behind miniature trails of their scampers. Gus the dog lumbers ahead of me for a while, and I see the crimson drops from his injured paw spattered on the virgin snow. And my footprints tell the tale of my pilgrimage.

Today, the world is frozen, and we feel. Prairie grass dances noiselessly, and when I turn around to head for home, the mute breeze hits my face, freezing my outer layer of skin. The cold seeps through my running shoes into my double-socked feet. As my jacket heaves, icy breaths chill my exposed neck. I notice that the thin layer of snow feels spongy under my feet.

Today, the world is bland, blanched, bleached, and we taste. My mind feeds on thoughts I never have space to contemplate; conclusions I am never able to reach finally find safe passage through the mists; truths I could not internalize take root in reflection’s garden.

Today, the world is swept and washed, and we smell. Impressions combine like ingredients; musing nourishes the soul with its rich simplicity.

Today, the world waits to echo. And we speak praise into the expectant recesses.

“Your lovingkindness is better than life. Therefore, my lips will praise You. I will bless you while I live. I will lift up my hands in Your name.” Psalm 63

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