We live on the edge of a forest, and in the winter we sometimes get what I think of as frozen fog.
A thick mist seems to rise from the ground, and if it's cold enough, it encases every leaf and blade of grass and hedgerow twig in silvery ice. The effect is magical.
This year, the big freeze came before the oak trees had shed their leaves and we've had a rare display of bronze mixed in with the more usual shades of pewter-gray.
Last week I had spent the morning shopping for a party . . . (I utter the word "Costco" only so you may appreciate the contrast) . . . and on the drive back home I was arrested by the sight of these ghostly trees. Although it was only mid-afternoon, the dusk was purplish-dark already. It was as if Winter had cast a spell of enchantment and all of the world was frozen in its tracks.
I'm not immune to winter's charms, but sometimes I have to be reminded that chief amongst them is that deep blanketing silence that is not experienced at any other time of the year.
I've had two solid weeks of almost unceasing activity, and way too many evenings which have ended in morning -- surely not a good thing at the darkest time of the year -- but funnily enough, I think that it is these few quiet moments that will stay with me:
my daughter's purely sung solo (in candlelit darkness) at the Christmas concert tonight,
and the world stilled and silenced by frozen fog.