Here in the Northeast we have been blanketed by lots of snow. It will indeed be a White Christmas.
The other evening in the midst of yet another snowfall, I bundled up into my gear and headed out to shovel. The snow was light and fluffy, the kind that's easy to push along. The outdoor Christmas lights twinkled between snowflakes.
After I finished shoveling and since I was still nice and warm from the physical effort, I brought the dogs outside to romp around. It was fairly late in the evening but I knew there was one place I had to go. I walked towards the woods.
I stood in the middle of the woods and remained still for a long time listening to the sound of the snow as it gently fell through the trees. There is a particular sound it makes almost like a tinkling of bells as it glides down. There is that and silence - an unbelievable silence marked by stillness and solitude.
Our everyday lives are so filled with noise and bustle that we sometimes forget what silence sounds like. Many of us live dual lives as writers who still work "day" jobs. Many of us balance hectic schedules and fight deadlines that suck the life out of us. Some of us juggle all that with the added stress of caring for families. But whenever I'm pushed to my limit, I remember the woods on a snowy evening. I remember that there are places I can go to that are quiet and still.
Things happen out there. In the lack of man's presence, the woods become a playground to animals who explore its pristine paths. The snow brings much needed shelter to animals who hunker down against raging storms. The moonlight shines across open fields and casts shadows between trees. But most of all, there is peace.