The snow lies still

The snow lies still upon the rooftops.

From a few houses

smoke rises in a misty haze

and the streetlights blaze

like midnight suns.

All is silent

except the steady breathing of my toddler

whom I’m rocking back to sleep.

In the upper bedroom

across the street

insomnia reigns

and the blue lights of the television

flash out a noiseless dance.

But the snow lies still upon the rooftops

and silence greets my sleepy glance outside.

Snow Scent 

Last night it smelled like snow–

when I stepped outside 

the air was crisp and icy–

pregnant with promise.  

In my garden 

the late blooming sunflowers

with their damp, cold petals

looked crestfallen and forlorn

as if thinking:

“I wasn’t expecting this!”

In the early morning half-light

I see the rooftops are powdered with icing sugar.

The kids wake up with excitement

and begin dreaming of gingerbread. 

My seven year old starts spouting:

“Snow says Christmastime…stuff has to stop growing sometime. 

If flowers never stopped growing there would be vines everywhere

Even in the road, and the cars could hardly go.”

Well, there you go. The seasons explained!

Spring Forward

Spring forward–

move the clocks!

Let the daylight stretch into the afternoon

like a sleepy cat



But this spring feels late–

the snow lingers in patches,

though sobbed on by rain,

and grimly threatens to return

in mid-March flurries.


One wishes it was weather

more suited for blizzards

from Dairy Queen

but the chill damp air

crushes dreams of summer.


Undaunted we spring forward,

planning spring in our dining room–

filling every ledge and shelftop

with seedlings and sprouting things

baby bok choi and alyssum flowers

peas and beans with their bright green leaves–

tiny banners raised in triumph against the grey.


We are even sprouting an avocado —

its plump brown pit skewered by toothpicks

and half-submerged in water.

Every day I look with delight at the long white root

shooting out like a streak of hope

seeking life.


Spring forward

and if spring won’t leap with you,

give it a push!


Images of Silence

The still water reflects the beauty of the sky
gorgeous billows of blue-tipped clouds
The rippling water has a busy beauty of it’s own
but takes all the attention for itself

Sometimes the noise of so much chatter
(mostly my own)
becomes like a wind which

blows out my interior candle

I need some silence
some still air
to let the flame rekindle
to warm the ember to a steady glow
burn brightly enough to heat me
from the inside out
light streaming forth
my eyes as stained glass


The still morning lake
sits silent
grey and reflective
full of slightly fuzzy trees
solemnly upside down
green but not laughing

The majestic cedar trees
wave their thin green hands
ever so slightly
like ancient queens
acknowledging their people
who celebrate with the sudden confetti
of falling snow

Down below, the dew-spangled moss twinkles
and the ferns bow their heads shyly
Slippery salaal leaves shine
next to delicate huckleberry bushes
not yet adorned with tiny red berries

I’ll have to come back
in the summer

In the mean time
all these pieces of beauty
fill up the puzzle of my soul


Sitting here in the quiet chapel with
tall windows like eyes into the forest
I watch the snow fall against the cedars
like mercy from heaven
a gentle steady blessing
a constant message of beauty
a gift from one greater
ever reaching towards me
I am here I am here I am here

The snow falls
and my sleeping baby
breathes warmly on my chest
The candles glow
and the lake calmly receives
the many kisses of snowflakes


First Snow

Some of my best memories of growing up are of playing in the snow with my brothers. When we lived on Red Mountain Road, outside the village of New Denver, up the highway and 2 km down a gravel road, we had lots of snow. We had to walk on that icy road through the forest to the school bus, all bundled up and roasting in our snow suits, while our breath curled out like faint dragon smoke. Sounds like a grandma story, but it’s true.

When we got home, the things we would do with snow! We’d build sledding runs down the driveway, which my rambunctious brothers would do snowboard jumps from, while I of course slid down on my butt, thanks very much! We’d build giant snow men bigger than us, heaving up the big snowballs together and decorating our creation with a hat and face.

On really cold days, when the top of the four feet of snow was a frozen crust, we’d tromp along on top of it, as delicately as we could in our mega snow boots. We would see how far we could get before our feet would break the crust and leave us half stuck in snow and laughing as we hauled ourselves out again.

When we moved into town, we still had to contend with the snow, and a family chore was shoveling the snow off the roof. It was very satisfying to work together, kind of like an old pioneers, resisting the snow’s urge to wrap our home in a sparkling white blanket of silence. Up there, seeing everything covered in snow, with more thick flakes falling through the trees and kissing our rosy cheeks, you could just take a deep breath and be happy.

Now we’re on the mild west coast so snow is more of a temporary decoration than anything else. Still, there’s wonder and beauty in that first snow fall of the season. Here’s my little one gazing out at it.