TONIGHT IS A NIGHT FOR SCREAMING AND SPINNING IN CIRCLES AROUND AND AROUND OUTSIDE ON THE FROSTED GRASS

but the silence outside is immense. Cold cold cold with moon and stars up there hazy and overcast like someone dragged ripped gauze between me and the sky and there aren’t enough stars to stare at. They’ve all drifted down days ago, and when the sun came out next morning they fused together on top of the frozen ground. They’re a slick, shining sheet now, here and there where the shade kept it all safe and sound from the sun that tried like hell to make us think the cold would go away. If I stare at the ice and let my eyes unfocus just a bit, it looks like water, or the stretching slide of glacier or pack-ice, of which there is increasingly too little, we are told.

Winter always did spark something wild in me, but I’m older and wisdom has made me afraid, so I don’t go out there anymore, and I no longer let the wildness jerk me forward like a fishhook in my heart. I can ignore the tug, though sometimes, on nights like this one especially, it still hurts like I imagine does the phantom pain of a missing limb. But I remember the cool span of moonlight slicing down through a night so blackly crystalline that it brought tears to the eyes, physical pain and sharpness. I remember the pale light of it washing the snow and making something close to daylight out of midnight, or two a.m. I remember the crunch of snow under my feet, snow that nobody else had walked on, and I remember what it felt like, the huge, expansive awe-fulness of imagining that no-one else had or would see something so beautiful as unsullied snow under a moon bright enough to sear the vision.

Does snow still smell like the taste of tin? Does the scent of it still become almost a taste at the tip of the tongue the moment the flakes start to fall?

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