More snow! Hurrah, bring it on. For those of us who relish snowshoeing, it is a delight to behold freshly fallen snow. As it was recently when I bent over in my bulky jacket, struggled slightly to strap on the snowshoes over my Polartec boots, pulled on my fleece hat, grabbed my poles, just in case, and set off.

We are fortunate to have trails right behind our house, and they beckon in winter. This day the sun reflects off the snow, dazzling the eyes at first. Then I lift my shoes and plod into the woods. I notice glimpses of houses, solid, snug against the ever-predictable storms, then turn left, over a bridge, and they are gone.

Gurgling water from the creek passes underneath on its merry way, impeded here and there by craggy rocks, frosted with new snow. Indented beside the water are turkey tracks. Those must be the ones that visit our bird feeder in our backyard, for dropped seeds. Then on along the white-coated trail.

At the top of a slight hill, I stop, drinking in the silence. Trees bend like cloaked crows as snow tests the limit of their sinewy branches, while others stretch pencil black toward a blue sky. Sunlight filters through bare-armed boughs, throwing gaunt shadows across the trail. A rabbit had recently scurried across my path, casting delicate prints. The silence now envelops me in its holiness.

A lone chickadee wings its hesitant flight from a tree limb to a nearby thicket, its cry melding into the sacredness of the moment. A stray leaf, forced to leave the security of its tree by winter’s grasp, floats gently on to the snow.

Almost reluctantly I continue on my way slowly, looking around, part of the very clay from which all creation emanates, yet pulsing with hidden life. Then the condo development creeps into view, a harsh reminder of civilization.

I circle the partially frozen retention pond once, then turn softly back to retrace my tracks. As I approach the bridge once more, I wait. A slight plateau, white in expectancy, is to become a labyrinth, woven into the wooded setting, come springtime; a fitting future.

This time I tread down by the brook, following its ceaseless chatter as it wends around curves, circumvents rocks, and courses over fallen trees, already breaking down to become sustenance for future saplings.

As the hill leading up to our home rises before me, I hang back, taking in the now rosy glow dappled on the whiteness, crisscrossed by longer shadows. Then finally I climb the hill, digging poles deeply into the snow. Tingled with warmth in body and soul I cross the yard, and into the embrace of a welcoming hearth and a hot cup of tea.

— Special to the Telegram