Down by the Pond

It’s one of those clear days, crisp and cold. It’s a vivacious wind that stings cheeks and sweeps right through denim. Muscles tense and backs hunch against the breeze. The coldness of the wind is remedied by the apricity of the sun. During each pause between gusts, the warmth of the light reaches my face for one caressing moment. The wind sounds like it swallowed an ocean, and dropped, till churning, behind the next stand of trees. The brittle brown leave of the maple above me rattle, their vibrating brown figures in congress with the breeze. Nearby, there are students at work. I can hear music churning up from the bowels of the auto shop. I’m down at the pond and it is covered in a sheet of ice. A leaf rattles, dances and skitters away from me across its surface. Winds above my head have caught the pine needles on the tree across the pond, and they sway back and forth like paint strokes against the clear sky. The sun headed west, falls at an angle across the land, so shadows grow out long on one side, and I find myself in the company of my dark silhouette, ghost pen in hand, skittering over pages of auburn pine needles. There are shadows on the ice, cast by trees, long tendrils intertwined and dancing with each gust. A crow flies, trying to hitch a ride on the right breeze. The sun catches in his feathers and they gleam like the sun’s twin in the water. He’s carrying silver on his back. There is a broken oyster shell before me, and the slanting sun has filled it with color and light. I find myself trembling like the leaves on the beech, the shadows on the ice. The wind is talking with the trees. Speechless, I sit and listen.

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