The Last Snowfall
The snow is newly fallen and slipping faster from the skies above. They twinkle in the moonlight, shinning like little stars fallen from the dark heavens, like specters of light coming down to earth by the angels themselves, coming to watch over the sleeping world of the living. It is frigid to touch yet warm to gaze upon. It makes me think of my childhood, of the days I spent with my brothers, making men of snow. Making small spheres of the white cold to throw mischievously at one another. Of days spent helping my parents shovel the pathways around our small house, of days spent just lying there, in the middle of the yard and on top of the snow, watching the sweet spectacles of fluffy flecks fall over me. I look back now, thinking of the days spent indoors, before the hearth, sipping hot chocolate quietly with my father as he told me stories of the past. And then days of sitting at the window of my room, the room I sit in now, watching the snow fall as if I never saw the flurry fall from the sky before.
I look around my room for my pen, that simple black inked pen that I kept by my side, day in and day out along with my book. At first I cannot find it either. They do not sit on my bed, nor do they rest in the bookcase with the rest of the fairytales and novels. Do they lay upon that antique chestnut desk along with paper work? No, nor do they rest on the pillowed wooden chair before the desk. There are only clothes draped over the back of the chair. And then there I spy them. The book sits upon my nightstand, not a far stretch. Beside it, a black inked pen that I take as I reach for the book. And the book, it is a large leather-bound book. Filled with words, save for the last page. A book of dreams, a holding for thoughts, a place for stories and a notebook of memoirs.
Using a small board upon my lab, a blanket around my shoulders to shield me from the cold, I wrote and wrote and wrote, thoughts at random flowing from recollection into my mind like water from a river, so slick and fierce.
"The snow was sticking to the ground now, covering the ice-glazed grass with growing layers of white blankets. I could see now, my young nephew with his father, my elder brother of twenty-six year in age, below my second story window. How innocently he stumbles through the snow. I imagine I can hear him now, laughing as I once laughed with my brothers as we raced through the snow. It was like running through water when the snow was deeper than three feet. It would be as high as our waists on some days. On others, it would be no more than a few inches, but it did not matter.
"Snow was snow, just as singing was singing. Ah, how I loved to sing when the snow fell, twirling in circles and singing my heart out, flowing tunes of lullabies and songs I heard my mother murmur softly under her breath. I would close my eyes and just sing, feeling the snow fall upon my skin, upon my lips like cold kisses from the god of snow. How he must have reveled in this joy that radiated from me. Spin and spin I would, arms wide out to embrace the warmth of winter, before collapsing down on the ground, the pillows of cold catching and breaking my fall, laughing.
"And down by the Wellesley Collage, that great hill, I would be found with several friends with our sleds in hand. The snow was just perfect for this, fluffy and slick. I would be first to go, taking a running start before falling deliberately upon my stomach on the sled and sliding head first down the hillside. I exclaimed in joy all the way down, pretending that I was flying down the hill into the past. Snow would fly up and swirl around me as I flew. Sometimes, I would strike a small bump in the snow and fly through the air for several seconds, my heart pounding in excitement. I'd cry out in surprise and exhilaration. Then I would fall upon the end, slowing down gradually before coming to a complete halt. I would be sad that the ride had ended, yet full of joy from experience.
"There were days when I would wander into the woods behind my house, just sitting there as I saw life pass by at its sloth like pace yet flying by like that of a falcon. Time was a valuable and mysterious thing. But how I loved sitting in those woods, loving the appearance of the evergreens sprinkled with white frostings or the bare trees given color and painted with ivory. I would see deer pass by, barely visible in the sleeping foliage of the forest. It would sometime be a doe, wary of my presence. But I would smile and whisper soothing words to her and from my pocket offer the bits of carrot I had taken from the kitchens, hoping that just maybe, the doe would eat it. I would smile, and whisper 'It's okay, I know your hungry.' And how wonderfully delighted I would be when the doe came to take the carrot piece from my hand. Sometimes I imagine the doe was thanking me when I came back the next day and found her waiting for me, nuzzling me maternally. I was her child of the winter.
"Then there were those walks by and through the Common, lights strung on the high trees in bright colors like blue, red and green. Others were creamy white, like snow. I grinned in glee as I walked with my friends or parents to the nearby stores to buy something hot to drink or to go library, which was across from the Commons.
"And then Midwinter would come, the winter solstice. The day when gifts would be exchanged among friends, among family. It would be the happiest of times in the year. I would make my parents gifts to show my appreciation and my love. For my brothers, I would go into town to spend my money on sweets for them and several friends. And then I would leave the sweet shop to purchase ribbon to wrap these sweets I had bought. Sometimes, I would have a few coins left over and I would go to center of town, where the Salvation Army took donations for those who would need spare money the most. Those who had no family, no true home, or no consistent source of warm food. Those who need this money more than I did. Those who shouldn't be left alone on this day of joy. I would smile, knowing that my money would benefit others.
"Then the day of Midwinter would come and the exchange of gifts. My parents would spend what little spare money they had to buy my brothers and I gifts. Oh how I would love to see those gifts, wrapped in bright colored paper and shinning like a beacon of enchantment. Of all those books I would receive, those books of adventures and fairytales, I always wished I could give my parents the present they deserved. A present worth their love, their hard work, their time. But no gift can express these emotions of mine. No words, no gifts, no true material matter. Even as I child, I never really received the chance to thank them, to try to truly express this love, for all they have done for me, for my brothers. How I love them so. And this journal, bound in leather. I never dared to think of how much this journal has cost my parents for leather was something that was not easy to come by. Sweets would come to me from my brothers and friends. Sweets of chocolate shaped in snowflakes and snowmen. How I laughed joyfully that year my brother bought me a book on how to make candy. I will never forget that book, its pictures full of color. And then day would end with everyone around the hearth, cups of hot chocolate in hands. Those were the favorites of my memories."
"Those were the days I loved. That was the season I lived for. Those were the moments I would never forget. Not even now as I sit her by my window in my old rocking chair with blankets covering me to shield me from the cold. I can feel the sickness deep within me, eating away my flesh, my life. It pulses within me like the faint heart within. An insidious serpent snaking through these serpentine veins of mine. It makes my breath fall short and the heart to pound with the shallowness of the light snowfall. It is no more the fierce blizzard of a beating heart it was so long ago. I know my life is going; I know that my family thinks it is just the flu, an illness easily overcome. But I know, deep down, that I do not have long. I know that when my family finds me one day not far from this moment, they will believe that I have died young. But is it true? I lived life to the fullest, to the best of life. Even now as I sit here, writing this. There are no regrets, which I possess. There are no doubts in my life. Those who I loved know they mean the world to me. They know that if they had not existed, I would not bet the person I am today. I guess what I'm trying to say, trying to write, are words that I never thought I could express. Words of my deepest and most sincere gratitude. A thank you to all those who may never know how much they made my life the greatest it could ever be, for making my life perfect, as short as it maybe. These memories are what will be me forever; these are the moments that I will take with me to the life beyond the living. But if there was just but a single regret I have, it is that I never got to say, how thankful I am to possess the family I have, to have the friends I have."
I put down my pen and journal, placing both of them on the table nearby, and pulled the blanket of fleece with prints of winter blue snowflakes around my shoulders closer to me. I close my eyes. It won't be long now. Am I glad the end is coming? To tell the truth, I don't know. But I do know this, I would never give it all up, not even for a chance at life again. These memories, I would never give them up for a second chance at life. Memories themselves are lives and I would not give them up to the world.
Hearing a whisper of breath that brushes by hair slightly, I open my eyes again. Before me, I see him, his wings like feathers of snow, and his hair of purity. He smiles, his eyes of an icy blue glisten warmly, and his smile is kind. A perfect being, like a sculpture of marble, a painting made by Michelangelo himself. The clothes he wears are of no definite shape, no specific color. With out true hue, like the eyes of winter. With his wings appearing softer than velveteen and smooth like the skin of a baby, he reminds me of a god of snow and winter. The god I worshiped as a child. A mythical being. Maybe this was an angel of winter. I hope he is.
He must have heard my thoughts. He chuckles silently. He extends his hand down to me.
"It is time," he says, his voice like a soft winter breeze that contained small flecks of ice so that the air sparked as it flew.
"I know," I murmur simply. "This is what I wanted."
He nods as I take his hand. It is as cold as snow, smooth as ice, and warm as the sun. He is a being of transcendence. Then he opens his celestial wings and draws me from my seat. Together, he and I rise from this warm room of mine, his wings beating in a soft rhythm that evoked a weariness within me. I could feel myself losing consciousness with every breath I thought I took. I look down below for one last glance at my life, my family, and my friends who were living in the house next door. I see my young nephew smile as he twirled in the snow, laughing in glee. I see the snowfall, shinning in the moonlight and the rising sun, shimmering in the candle light like stars of the luminous heavens above. A gentle rainfall of divine stars like prayers for the gods and wishes of innocent children. Glimmering like angels descending from the heavens, smiling down and showing the world with their love. Flickering like small fierce fires of the sun, glistening through to say their goodbye to the darkness of the night and to welcome the eternally rising sun. Like the twinkle of a dawn blue eye in secretive gleam. I see the snowfall one last time and smile.
A/N: This is a reposting. Originally, I wrote this for a writing contest and posted it here for feedback. I took it off a while ago and decided to repost it again.