Winter neglect

As I pulled the air conditioner out of our upstairs window, its frame blanketed in a double layer of snow and ice, I wondered why I hadn’t gotten around to taking it out sooner.

Easy. Just a week ago, it was beautiful. The clearest and most beautiful Halloween night I can remember. The chores could wait a week.

Six days pass. Our best intentions weren’t enough to stop the inevitable. It was November, after all.

Snow. And with it, the cold, icy hand of winter.

Two days later, our yard still seems unblemished. Few footprints have broken the clean glaze of constant melting and freezing. The only things that break the horizon of snow along the edges of our yard are those that were abandoned as the snow approached.

Two bags of leaves stand in the front, an unfinished raking job from the night of the storm. Our patio furniture floats alone in a vast sea of white. Our garden still contains the last gasps of the growing season.

It’s as if our life itself was frozen shut, trapped, unmoving. Time stops. Chores are suspended. Plans remade. One moment, everything is moving smoothly, gearing toward their natural end, and then the next they’re stopped short, like the reminding corpse of a road-killed animal.

The fire that fueled our summer is doused, smothered in white, a form-fitting covering of insulation. Our yard stands as if filled with white stone reminders of what we left undone.

Everything is frozen. Unfinished.

It’s what I imagine the end of the world to look like. Various items representing various actions left scattered in various states of incompleteness. Cold and unfeeling, their stories lost and their purpose forgotten.

It’s nothing that dramatic, though. It’s simple.

It’s winter. And it’s here.

Frozen Whirlygig

(For more winter neglect pictures, check out my post at Much More Sure.)

This was lovingly handwritten on November 8th, 2008