Friday, February 11, 2011

A Recent Storm


Yesterday the yard was shimmering deep snow.  Earlier today, it pelted freezing rain; now driving wet snow pounds against the windows.  On the north side of the house, sticky fat flakes cover the windows.  Wind increases, forces the snow into untamed swirls. 

The rising wind and the snow-blanketed windows make the cats anxious.  They sit in their usual chairs, drawn to their favourite spots at the kitchen windows.  They meow and paw at the glass wondering why they are unable to watch their customary entertainment: American Black Ducks and Mallards feeding on the cracked corn my husband puts out for them each morning, Common Redpolls and Black-Capped Chickadees at the thistle seed feeders.  The windows are bulky with snow; the cats can see nothing.

My cats and I cocoon inside this snow blinded warmth; listen to the buffeting gale.  Through the tops of the windows, light still peeks. I watch the storm develop.  The cats are tired, weary from scratching at the window panes and meowing at me for explanation.

I carry fragrant coffee, reading glasses and current book to the living room and settle in the rocking chair near the fireplace.  I crave this warmth in my hands and on my legs. The cats follow, grow more content.  On this side of the house, they can perch in front of the windows and still view the outdoors.  These windows are not yet completely covered. 

The storm bashes the house walls, snow dances frenzied in the air; rapidly piling flakes bending the trees and covering the world.  The view down our street and across the marshes to the river is gone, swallowed in white. 

The cats are still, lined up, one, two, three staring at snow ripping past, chirping at a lone seagull attempting to fly through this blizzard.  The ducks on the north side have settled down facing into the blustery winds, hunkered low, waiting it out; sheltering in snow indentations made by my husband’s heavy boots during this morning’s bird-feeding routines.  The Chickadees and Redpolls have disappeared, hiding in denser foliage than this yard provides.   The shrubs become conical snow mysteries, the maples creak and sway heavily, and snow-burdened wires rub complaints against the house.

The cats gradually settle, wander away from the chill of the windows.  Sleepily, one lowers himself to cover a hot air register.  One pads circles on the sofa until she finds the ideal location to curl up, groom and nap.  The other, the youngest and most dependent, joins me in the rocking chair and demands attention, wanting pats and words of comfort before stretching out and up, from my lap to my chin, simply making a bed out of me!  All three sleep.  I read, sip my coffee, and enjoy this cozy fireside, companioned and cocooned from the snowstorm.  All is well!

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