Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Candles in the Snow

I loved my Christmas walkabouts, touring our snow-covered roads and dodging drowsy drivers, a tottering shadow on the snow with a flashlight and an instant readiness to dive for the snowbank, where a sidewalk should have been. I was an enormous shade, cloaked in a great grey parka, and I drifted down the snowy lanes of Calumet and Laurium, making little or no sound, as I searched the cold December skies (when the clouds and the snow permitted) to wonder at the majesty of distant suns. When frustrated by winter's glowering curtain, I lowered my eyes to marvel at our colorfully courageous attempt to capture that twinkling glory in myriad displays of Christmas lights.

When snow fell, as it so often does here, the piercing beauty of the lights flickered and dimmed as it shone through the dancing and swirling flakes. Sounds were muted and softened, distant and muffled, replaced by the soft sussurations of the snow, murmuring and whispering as it fell and drifted toward its earthly rest. When I stopped for a moment, a sense of solitude and peace settled upon my shoulders, along with the ever-present snow.

I treasure those memories, especially the night I was captivated by three Christmas candles in a neighbor's window -- flickering brightly and dancing their warm golden light into the silent, snowy night. They seemed a thousand miles away and yet, they filled my heart with warmth.


Candles in the Snow

I love to walk abroad December nights,
Search Cimmerian skies for Christmas stars;
In liquid dome of distant twinkling lights,
Prevailing over glare from passing cars,
And street light's radiance lambent on the snow --
A softly folded blanket, sheer and white.
I pause and spy them easily, they show
Their yuletide incandescence to my sight:
From far-off fire, the twinkling cosmic flame,
Sends forth a gift of splendor for my eyes.
Snow softly whispers of a Child, whose Name
Recalls the songs of angels from the skies.
My heart fills with a blithe and merry glow,
Of candles shining warmly in the snow.

Mick McKellar
December 2012

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