|2/1/2013 1:53:00 PM|
The winter season
Paul AndermanThe trees are dancing. They're ballerina trees in zillions of lights in the city park. These trees are beside the highway, wearing their tutus of lights, lights of many colors. And every time I drive by, these trees seem to twirl. I picture these young trees being so proud, thrilled to be in the ballet, the envy of other trees.
Under them lots of happy children play and slide, on a slope now made of plate glass, the color of rinse water, worn in places all the way through to the summer slopes. Perhaps the very same children play there again. Sledding is very fast here; I can almost imagine kids launching from the curved snow piles at Front Street, with enough velocity to clear the buildings and land in the river.
What a great Christmas memory that would be! Dude! Remember that time?
Millions of little lights fill Leavenworth like demented fireflies, or like the lights of a distant fantastic city, or like the work of fairies. Strangely, the silent lights make the softest sweetest sound, which you can hear when you close your eyes to listen. Small bells far away, perhaps, or something celestial. A sound words can't describe.
Ghost trees covered with white snow, reverse shadows of their former selves, stand in soldierly rows at parade rest. Orchards hold their collective breath dreaming of the days men speak Spanish beneath them, dreaming of the rush of harvest, when orchards are most alive.
Orchard props don't prop, but lean against trees now, hanging out like orchard vagrants, their silvery wood resting against trees like lovers taking their warmth together. Snow hangs in the joints of trees, blobs here and there.
A thin dime of a sun is faintly seen through dense fog, or through a cloud cover, where 93 million miles away the nuclear furnace of a star now appears like a dim glow. Fog can completely hide the Cascades, which just begs for a headline reading "Fog Makes Entire Mountain Range Disappear!! Government Baffled!!"
Swings and a slide, common playground toys, now sit abandoned, unloved, seemingly made of snow. Maybe they're at peace, though I picture things made for children that have no children perhaps a little sad and lonely. Maybe playground equipment sleeps, like bears, for now.
The streets of town become paved with snow, packed inches deep frozen solid. On some streets, that's better, on others, worse. Who would've ever thought snow could be an industrial thing you could pave with, and for free? It's like some magical city once again, paving being taken care of by some sort of benevolent and magical overseer, a snow queen. Or weather patterns.
Well, not exactly for free, because one day a city crew will turn up with very large equipment to do the best they can with removing it. Now it's no longer so magical, but perhaps more pragmatic. Life does go on after all. Sigh. And snow, it turns out, after a week or two, is poor pavement.
Where I work, my library, in Peshastin, is buried is snow. It has come off the roof there and left berms along the sides half as high as the walls. I have worked there forever. Once or twice snow has blocked the windows. It's like the quinzee library: a room full of books inside a snowdrift.
Winter should look like this, of course, buried, frozen, bleak, gray, because we live in seasons. They're all my favorite season. It's hard to decide when Leavenworth looks its best, but I think that a fake town that looks like it belongs in the Bavarian Alps looks its best in winter.
It's all dressed up and filled with gazillions of demented fairy lights, and with proud trees that seem to be twirling when you drive past, wearing their tutus-of-lights.
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