August 12, 2008
When I look at this picture I can see, feel, and hear the silence. Does that make any sense? Have you ever been outside on a cold, snowy winter's night, lit by the moon reflecting off of the fresh white snow?
I have only a few memories of nights like that, as I grew up in warmer climates that rarely, if ever, get snow. But one night I'm thinking of was in Las Cruces when we lived on Royal Drive. I'm not sure how old I was, and my memories are faded and patchy. I remember the snow had fallen all evening, and because it was so late, it lay blanketed and undisturbed across the streets, driveways, trees and yards. Every sound was hushed and muffled by the snow, so much that when we spoke we whispered to each other, as our speaking would interrupt the silence. In my mind, I can hear the soft crushing of snow under boots.
The white of the snow and the moonlight combined lit up the night. But with us, the silence didn't last long. We were soon sliding down our steep driveway, turning the fresh laden snow into brown sludge.
But before we ruined the white blanket of snow and the hush that filled the night: this is how I feel when I read Marylinne Robinson's Housekeeping.