I am ready for winter. Glittering palaces of ice where waterfalls once flowed. Crystal ornaments in trees, where dew drops froze. A smooth flat of ice on puddles and ponds — skating rinks for the right sized feet.
One of my favorite books is The Snow Child. Much of my love for that book is for the delicate descriptions of winter, snow, and ice. The Snow Child is set in interior Alaska, and the author Eowyn Ivey makes me want to disappear into her shimmering snowscape.
Unlike most fantasy, where the villain occupies any icy peak and threatens to kill with cold — as if eternal winter were a more exacting hell than eternal fire — The Snow Child is stunning in its portrayal of the tundra beauty. Beryl glaciers. Glowing blue spires of ice. White snow with berries like rubies poking through. Ivey’s prose sparkles like snow in moonlight.
Here in Blacksburg, the ice is like silver. I don’t remember many wet storms during our winters in Minnesota — it was too cold for much besides dry powdery snow — but Appalachia knows how to throw an ice storm. Limbs droop under the weight of shining crusts, leaves drip with streams of water frozen mid-drop, roofs and roods glisten with sheets of slick black ice, and when the sun comes up, the whole world glitters as if encrusted in diamonds.
Ice can be treacherous — when the power goes out and you don’t have a backup heat source, or when you have to drive somewhere and you fear for your life — but if you remove those annoyances, if you bundle up and take a walk out in the frozen, silent world, ice can be one of life’s great glories.
For the month of November, I will be participating in NaBloPoMo and plan to publish every day of the month. Usually, I will publish a 10-minute free write, initiated by a prompt from my prompt box. Minimal editing. No story. Just thoughts spilling onto the page. Follow along with the tag #NovemberDaily.