A Quiet Cloud

The snow came to stay today.

Mother Nature had been pondering it for some time, gradually settling herself into the idea of embracing winter once again.

There were hints of it in the air on that fifty degree day when we built the back landing.  The mud huddled in a sticky mass on my boots, and I shed my bright yellow tourist sweatshirt as the rising of the sun and the swing of the hammer warmed my skin.  I coaxed joist hanger nails into the corners of a would-be landing while a man with a long white beard looked on, his hands in the pockets of his navy blue jacket.  Our participant’s Dad, he slipped stories of his time working in Michigan in between smacks of the hammer.  The quiet silver dog looked on and listened from his house at the bottom of the hill.

There were hints of it when the temperature started to drop as we began to build the front porch.  My jesting last winter motto – #fatfingerproblems – popped into my head once again as I contemplated which combination of pairs of gloves would keep my fingers unthawed the longest.  The mud had frozen and the clay was reluctant to leave the comfort of the earth, no matter how many times the post hole digger knocked at its door.  The cows in the pasture next door stood at the fence and gazed curiously at the girl bundled in two shirts, a sweatshirt, a coat and a vest, with a green ‘boggan curled down around her head.

“Yes, critters, it’s me again.  How ’bout you come over here and see me?”

They answered with a stare.  The black one suspiciously took a single step forward, while the one with the white cheeks refused to move even an inch.

I went back to my work.

There were hints of it when the flurries came.  They dusted the half-laid decking boards and led to debates over whether or not we ought to go home.  But a wander up the hill revealed that the flakes had not stuck to the road.  I rubbed the snow off the boards with my hand and stuck eight penny nails into their new homes betwixt floor and joist with my humble red hammer.

There were hints of it when the snow dust floated through the air on the drive to work yesterday.  I parked the truck on the newly arrived gravel that made the squelchy mud-slide of a driveway less perilous to tires inclined to dig in their heels, and thanked the Lord that I was working inside today.  Inside, we pulled up the soft spots in the floor and replaced it with something more solid.  Outside, the quiet silver dog chewed up his blanket and White Cheeks rested quietly in the cow pasture, neither bothered by the chill of the air or the smell of possible precipitation.

Yes, there were hints.  But the snow never really arrived.  Until today.

Today a quiet cloud walked in

with fresh morning snow.

White, cold, still – it came

and rested on my doorstep.