p style="margin-bottom: .14in; line-height: 115%;"The morning sun was shining brightly throughout the near empty streets of my neighborhood. It's brightness reflects off the snow blindingly as I trudge with purpose in the deep inches of the snow. With each step I take there is a definite and unique crunch as my feet ruin the perfect blanket last night's snow had brought. I look back and frown at the path that I have forged. It always pains me to do something like that. I have always loved the snow but only when it was untouched and untainted by other living things./p
p style="margin-bottom: .14in; line-height: 115%;"I continue my journey up a nearby hill. The climb was hard and steep while I stumble several times to reach the top. By the end of it I am panting, tired from my uphill climb and sweating inside my layered clothes. On the top of the hill I see the forest that had been asleep since the leaves had abandoned their homes. I remember watching the beautiful scene everyday when the leaves had changed till the final leaf was plucked from the last tree to signal that winter was finally here. Though I belive the snow gives the forest a more elegant and pure look./p
p style="margin-bottom: .14in; line-height: 115%;"I take a breath of the frigid air. The chill winter atmosphere cools my lungs and wakes me from my fatigue. I love that about winter as well. I love many things about winter and this was only part of it. I exhale sharply to see my breath chill and disappear into the wintry atmosphere. I stare at my breath as it dances before me before it disappates as though it were never there./p
p style="margin-bottom: .14in; line-height: 115%;"I make my way towards the forest, taking care that I did not slip down the hill. I stare at the forest entrance and smile. It is intimdating. In its winter state it seems long forgotten, abadoned by all living things because of the cold winter's chill. Dead to the rest of the world. I continue to smile and make my way forward, each step in front of the one before it, knowing a secret./p
p style="margin-bottom: .14in; line-height: 115%;"The deeper I go into the forest I see many trails that its inhabitants made since the snow settled. I see deer, rabbit and squirrel tracks that dart all over the place, here and there and everywhere else I travel. It reminds me that I am not alone in the forest and that its trees do not belong to me, or anyone. It is shared by all that live there./p
p style="margin-bottom: .14in; line-height: 115%;"I find the forest desolate emptiness somewhat magical. That I am in an entinty much bigger than me and its silence only means that it is asleep. A giant in a peaceful slumber covered its blanket of snow. And even in that slumber things are still alive./p
p style="margin-bottom: .14in; line-height: 115%;"At the end of the forest I enter a large meadow. I know that there is a road that cuts through it and see that it has yet to be plowed by the trucks that rarely come through. I eagerly run through breaking its perfection, wanting nothing more than to be the first to do so. If it were going to be in ruins anyway I would rather it be me who did it first. I run, I stamp, I fall./p
p style="margin-bottom: .14in; line-height: 115%;"As I lay there I begin to admiring the sun that was trying so hard to melt the cold snow. I reach my hand to the heavens. I don't know why but as my fingers graze the sky I feel that somehow I can grab the sun in all of its glory. That now, in this moment, in all of the cold I can simply take the bright yellow orb that light the sky./p
p style="margin-bottom: .14in; line-height: 115%;"I stay in that position for a few minutes longer, arm reached out with fingers trying to grab for the impossible and for a few seconds more I believe that I can. For a few more minutes I let the snow chill over my clothes and a little more melt to seep into it. Before it is enough to completely drench my insides I get up and make my way back. Back through the woods, back to civilization where people have started to wake./p
p style="margin-bottom: .14in; line-height: 115%;"I enter my house which I find it is incredibly warm. Because of my wet clothes I hardly feel it, but my face does. Against the chill of winter it almost feels as though it is burning. My nose catches a whiff of chocolate as I see a mug steaming hot chocolate, freshly made sitting on the kitchen counter just for me. I strip off my gloves and let the hot mug warm them for me./p
p style="margin-bottom: .14in; line-height: 115%;"A voice from the upstairs calls out. "How was your walk?"/p
p style="margin-bottom: .14in; line-height: 115%;"I smile as I take a sip of the cocoa. "Cold." I reply./p