Sunday, February 13, 2011

Thunder Snow in Narnia

The other night, I was deep into the Boards question bank on a snowy evening,
sitting across from
The International Man of Mystery,
Mr. Matthieu Larochelle,
when we saw flashes of light out the windows.

I looked at him totally confused,
"Was that lightening?"

We walked to the window as the sky let out the longest rumbling roll of thunder I've heard in spring, summer, or winter time weather.

"Do you think it's the apocalypse?" I asked,
convinced that wintertime thunder had never happened before.

There was another flash and rumble from the sky that was glowing with a yellow atmosphere.

Well, we decided this was something we couldn't miss.
So we suited up in coats, snow boots, and mittens over our unwavering study uniforms of sweatpants and hoodies,
and headed out into the night.

We were going to trudge across his backyard to a trail through the woods, but quickly realized the snow was above our knees.
So we shuffled along the sidewalk to the proper trail entrance as another bout of lightening and thunder unfurled over our heads.

We walked along the trail in the silence that only falling snow can create,
under formerly bare branches now thickly slathered with an icing of heavy, sticky snow.
We turned a corner to head further into the woods and came upon a clearing guarded by a 30 foot fir tree so laden with snow it was more white than green.
I paused before passing its branches and braced for the other side of the wardrobe,
we were entering Narnia.

Past the fir tree,
we couldn't see the apartment buildings any more,
there were no boards to study for,
no one else,
no footprints,
no signs of civilization.

Only snow and quiet and trees robed like angels looking down on us.
We followed the trail alongside a creek until we spotted a huge, untouched clearing on the otherside.
I stepped off the trail to make my way there and instantly sunk to my thigh.
I looked to the boy from Maine,
"It'll be like that all the way across."

I took another step, exhilarated at breaking fresh snow,
at stepping off the trail,
at snow falling into my boots,
covering my sweatpants,
and at stomping clumsily all the way to the creek.

We jumped across it, worked our way a little ways into the clearing,
and then sank straight down,
forming thrones out of the snow.

We sat breathing in the cold air with 12 gigantic, apostolic fir trees standing guard around the edge of the clearing and a few stars blinking down at us through the breaking clouds.
The night was glowing with an ambient light reflecting off the snow and sparkling against all the haze shuffling through the air.

I had forgotten about spiritual moments in the boards hustle.
But this one settled down nicely, resting in my hair and on my shoulders in the form of snowflakes.
And I breathed.

As we made our way back out, I nodded to the original fir tree keeping watch over this other world and thanked it for the brief respite.

This time, instead of taking the sidewalk, we charged up the hill in Matt's back yard, laughing and huffing our way through the thigh deep snow,
and as we crested the hill into his driveway,
this world suddenly felt like the foreign one.

The woods are lovely, dark, and deep, But I have promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep, And miles to go before I sleep.
-Robert Frost