Friday, December 27, 2013

The Road That Passes By

Quite often I will see something extraordinary and have the idea that I can hold onto it.  Continue to extract from a fragment of time something even more precious and meaningful than what it had originally offered. 

Because I so often carry a small camera there is always a hope that it will somehow graphically aid me in this process.  Perceive the scene or event with a comprehensive permanent bundle of digital bits what my eye had just momentarily glanced upon.  All so I can then replay in my mind a singular special moment.

A week ago the weather, in not just this little strip of Canada but also across a great swath of the northern states were affected by the perfect confluence of dangerous weather patterns.  An immense wet mass of air rolled eastward across the Great Lakes and absorbed even more moisture into itself. 

At the same time a cold front pushed down from across the harsh northern country side.  There was then an immense collision, that under any other circumstances would have normally forced the huge, now merging weather patterns to release its burden of moisture as a swirling blizzard of snow.  But this did not happen.

Instead the thermometer clung to its tenuous grip on fluidity and instead remained teetering on the brink of freezing.  A precarious position as the clouds could no longer hold onto their immense burden of moisture.  Curiously, in a strange coincidence, the earth below and the atmosphere in between were set at a slightly colder temperature. 

The end result is rain that plummeted down through the slightly milder atmosphere and then instantly froze on everything it touched.  What then occurred was a slurpy cold deluge that continued dangerously for hours in many places, and by coincidence or quirk of fate, froze into a delicate gentle beautiful glaze in others. 

Many days have passed since this all took place.  In Toronto there are more than a few who have been dealt the harshest fate of this bizarre trick of weather.  No power,  trees stripped and broken, and lives now forcibly detained in un heated unpowered homes with no sure notion of when all this can be cleaned and cleared  and sorted.   Their lives most certainly drawing closer to normalcy but one which is still unpredictable.

Down here in little Goderich nature offered its most gentle frozen blessing.  No lives put under duress, no trees and buildings damaged, but instead what happened was that fickle nature offered up a delicate translucent non threatening veneer of ice.  That now, after so many days has yet to retreat under the slight advance of warmer temperatures.

My brother, along with my Mother and I had just come back from visiting a Mennonite wood shop.  A place not so far from the bustling town but when you enter this interesting little community of horse drawn carts, men with long scruffy beards, and women dressed in bonnets and long skirts, everything then begins, to my eye at least, to look different and unique. 

So as we drove back closer towards the modernity of town, nature all around me looked more interesting and delightful.  The tired sun was drooping lower, and for a moment the clouds opened up and allowed a burst of light to dazzle the icy glazed trees that framed the clear dark road. 

For just a moment my brother pulled his car to the side of the road and I got out.  Still just a little too far off from this glistening tree for the camera to frame it just right. So I continued to march towards it on the narrow slippery shoulder of the road.  With each slushy step the sun crept closer towards ducking entirely behind the clouds.

 .I had time to click just one picture before the curtain of cloud and dusk fell down around me.  Then, just like that, natures moment of perfect light and magic was over.

I clomped back through the frozen slop to my brother's warm waiting car.  Clicked my snowy boots together to dislodge the slush and then hopped into the back seat.

In an instant we were hurtling back towards the well maintained orderly streets of town.  The still and snowy countryside slipping away behind.  The trees that had glistened so brightly along the edges of the sleeping fields now bathed in the total darkness of the night. 

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