Sometimes, the extraordinary comes wrapped in silence and hoarfrost.
Fog the night before—and often it is foggy before spledour bursts—and more fog in the morning, but there was light to see, so I venture out. And the fog blesses every branch and blade with thickly delicate frost. Laden heavy with weightlessness, boughs linger gleeful for morning sun. But this moment is for me, for me to share with waiting creation. I run in the silence, the hush of this moment, and am gentled into glory. No camera, no way of documenting it, I must instead labour, to associate, to think deeper; and I must remember.
Round the lake in whispers, my breathing the only wind, my strides the only motor, I join the silent song, and let my mind grow quiet; content to praise and pant and know I am alive.
The old graveyard rests peaceful just off the path. And today I can live spontaneously, because today is a gift, so I travel up, and run along the fence, my feet leaving prints in the whitened grass. I look for his resting place, where we laid his body sixteen years ago. I’ve never visited Papa’s grave in all that time. But today is the day to live, and remember, and live deeper for the recollection.
I find his stone by his parents’ graves. The wheat heads and wild roses etched deep and simple into granite, the plain script and humble angle—these tell his story. He worked the land his whole life, saw the shift of industry, watched the world change around him, and still he plowed and harvested. Tilling came as a curse to Adam, yet it has turned to blessing, because there Papa found his identity, and his God. And he lost nothing for bowing his head in humility, and braving death’s scythe. He gained, and we his children reap the harvest he cultivated.
I kneel and brush a granite chip off the slab. And even our firmest edifices fade and erode, and the only things that last forever are the things we can’t see or handle. A seed in husk nestles in the etched letters. I brush it out and let it fall to the ground. And if it dies to itself, it will bear much fruit—it will not be utterly alone. How strange the paradox of grace.
I lift my hand from the stone. The moist, warm imprint echoes like a shadow: dark, yet fading. And our warmth is a shadow, a brief touch, a fragile breath. And it tells us there is better air we have not breathed, vistas we have not reached, a whole world we have not known . . . a world we were made for.
Fog recedes as sun rises. Mists lift like organza plumes. The very earth seems to exhale its first fresh breath, sighing chiffon vapours to the heavens. And I breathe, heart slowed, soul stilled. I breathe to heaven in this place, and remember that I am a breath, and Heaven gives me life, and I labour with joy to breathe its air, as the fog lifts, and the thin veil shivers and fades.
This is hope, wrapped in hoarfrost.