A Canvas of White Snow – by Ingrid Hekman Fournier (Adult)
Rising just before the sun, she makes her way down the wooden staircase and looks through the octagon window to see a blanket of fresh fallen snow. A late winter gift. She sets the kettle on the stove, lights the burner, and goes back upstairs quietly to change, being careful not to wake her husband.
The kettle whistles, calling her back to the kitchen where she places the tea bag into the ceramic mug and adds a drop of honey – a treat from the bees on her orchard.
The cross country skis, leaning against the mudroom wall, beckon for one last run before they will be returned to the basement. She gives in to their pleading and puts on her spring jacket, adding her white hand-knitted hat and ski gloves for good measure. The warm tea fuels her as she heads outside.
A cardinal chirps to a friend. She listens for a response. Shuffling onward, she inhales; the crisp air fills her lungs and energizes her muscles. A glimmer of sun peaks out from the grey clouds, welcoming her to this new day. The only sound is the shh-shh-shh of her skis making their brush strokes on the canvas of snow.
At the end of the raspberry row, she crosses into the plum orchard and stops, noting the magenta blossoms on the trees. The five petals are open; they are waving to her. Their color resembles her daughter’s ballet slipper which fills her with the memory of music, dance, and innocence. The sun rising above the Catskills is painting the sky in a myriad of pink.
She hears light breathing. Has her husband followed her? She turns slowly to the right. The blush of her cheek matches the blossoms on the tree. Her white ski cap is the snow.
She looks up to see the dark eye of a frightened doe who senses the woman’s peaceful nature and is calmed.
They are comforted by each other’s presence. Two mothers taking time to enjoy the silence of a new day.