Unusual Visitor

Visitors of all sorts use my driveway.

Some come to make routine stops; then they go about their way. Others are expected guests or surprise visitors; they are always welcome to stay.

1

On the night of February 9th, I anticipated the arrival of an expected guest. Forecasters said weather conditions were favorable… a combination of frigid temperatures, and clouds heavy with precipitation would bring her my way. To tell the truth, I am usually skeptical of this prediction. However, this evening, there was no time for doubt. There she was.

Her silent, graceful entrance mesmerized my thoughts. I forgot how beautiful this guest could be. I caught myself asking, “How long will you stay?”

2

Indications lead me to believe her visit would be a serious one. As she made her way toward my home, she embraced everything she touched with a glittery hug. She coated each with a luster of white  that gave a hint of what was to come.

Wondering what might occur during her stopover filled my brain with a flurry of possibilities… The thoughts of snow hastened sleep.

5

Dawn’s light revealed a breath-taking aura of white still falling down from thick skies. My hopes that the snow visit would be a lasting one quickly morphed into the realization that this visitor was not done unpacking. She was real and moved with intention.

As hours passed during that day, the evidence kept mounting. By the time she was done, the fact was proven. My visitor dumped about ten inches of snow out of her baggage. I loved the way it was thrown about upon frozen land and water. Twists of whimsy and enchantment covered the landscape… from my driveway and beyond.

6

At first, only the smallest folks on the street seemed eager to investigate the snowy guest’s handiwork. At the top of the driveway a couple children ventured into the arms of the newly arrived visitor.

7

During the day, my driveway framed neighborhood activities spurred on by the presence of my frosty-cold visitor. Children giggled with glee as they slid down her slippery back. While adults labored to push her around with shovels.

8

That night, I could see my guest was worn from her interactions. The day’s events ravaged snow’s smooth and magical unpacking. Grown-ups ceased from pushing her aside; and children, tired from playing with her, were warm inside their homes.

I looked up my driveway. A lone sentinel snow-person stood illuminated by the street lamp. I went to bed comforted to know my guest was not deterred. She was standing by… steadfast to discover what the next days of her stay would bring.

A week passed and I thought the snow looked content. She clung to tree branches and hugged the driveway like form-fitting clothing. It seemed as if she was a satisfied guest with no intentions to leave.

15

But, a couple days later, her uneasiness started to show. I watched as she initiated a tug-of-war with our garbage hauler and his truck. She snared them both with her frozen grasp, and seemed unwilling to release them. Several neighbors armed with kitty-litter, sand, and shovels showed their displeasure with her antics. After a worthy challenge, snow released the truck, and gave up. After that defeat, I imagine snow felt she was no longer a welcome visitor and started to thaw.

17

Snow’s extended stay -eleven days total- was a happy time for me. I enjoyed interacting with her. Snowscapes provided abundant opportunities to photograph and write about nature using a lens I rarely get to use in my neighborhood… white solitude.

I’m delighted that unusual visitor came down my driveway and stayed for a while. I hear rain is expected next…

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