The Scent of Ice

Desolate, the land fatigued under the wind’s constant barrage. Trees scattered themselves distantly, branches barren. Spindly, they leaned away from the monstrous howling, not strong enough to survive should the storm turn its fury upon them.

White suffocated the ground. Occasionally a deadened leaf could be seen collapsed out from underneath in eternal sleep. But eventually it, too, would be buried and forgotten by even the branch from which it fell.


Flakes of white fall, noiseless in their descent, stifling everything around them. Brilliant, soft, they breathe in life, and exhale a frozen land. Uncaring, they land as the breezes will. They fly on the whim of the wind, tossed, turned, until finally they are placed in a manner that is almost an apology for their rough voyage.

Then they rest, feeding from the land around them. There they grow, larger, stronger, covering stretches of once bountiful land. The scent of ice permeates.

Even the sun, with all its flame, is not strong enough to chase them away. They reflect each glare with defiance that grows stronger in unity. With brilliance they chase away the sun, and yet the next day it returns again, a perpetual battle.

And then finally one day they begin to quiver. The sun has gained strength, and they droop slightly, weary now. They shiver at the growing heat, shrinking as they curl away from it. Their strength drips from them, angels’ tears.

Then something green spears through them triumphantly, and they sigh away slowly.

A bird’s call sings through the still air.

When you finally spring to life

It’s the breeze that first tells you that today you won’t freeze. It caresses soft whispers into your ear. No longer does it bite your chin when you walk away, nor crawl under your clothes to thief away your warmth.

Suddenly your steps are lighter, quicker. The ends of your lips curl infinitesimally upwards. Deep within your eyes, hope flares to life.

Already the memories of past discomfort are fading. Of frozen toes and red-tipped noses. Of chunks of frozen hair lost with a careless gesture. Of hands permanently stuck in coat pockets, and shoulders hunched forward, defensively, resignedly.

Already you envision your winter coat hung up in the closet. Your thick socks rolled up at the back of the drawer. Your woolen sweaters guarded by mothballs.

You look up as the sound of a small bird’s chirp prods your soul. The tree’s branches are still bare, but that will change soon. Though the bird blends in well, your eager eye is quick to spot it. You reluctantly move on, aware that, should you linger too long, your boss will not be pleased. Alas, not everyone is cheered by the lively hints of spring.

You stare wistfully at the deceptive, blue sky.

A particularly strong gust of wind sneaks down the back of your coat. You shiver.

Soon the wind croons.

Soon. Not quite yet, but soon.