Ramblings from the Empty Nest

It was the first snowy day. I had gone to Skaneateles on Christmas related errands and found myself driving home on unplowed roads. I seemed to be alone on the road. There were no other vehicles in sight. I drove carefully, testing my tires on the new fallen snow. My adjusted speed brought me over what was familiar terrain slowly enough to appreciate the pristine landscape that the winter weather had created. The world was starkly beautiful, a composition in black and white, a road bordered with seemingly endless woods, all covered with clean, silent snow. Visual poetry.

I thought of the words of Robert Frost: "Whose woods these are I think I know..." Simple, straight-forward, accessible poetry that speaks to us all. In school we were taught that there were many levels of meaning to a poem, and that may be true, but for me this poem is first and foremost for everyone, not just the literati... the mystery of the woods, their beauty, their essence may be, on paper, the possession of a "someone," they may have other more, esoteric meanings, but their existence ... my vision of their loveliness at that moment cannot be ascribed to one person, to obscure meaning. These woods, in the soft light of a snowy afternoon, were transcendent. And I had promises to keep and miles to go...

A second vision accompanied my Robert Frost thought... that of a young girl and a Christmas card that depicted a cottage in a similar but fanciful wood, surrounded by trees iced in sparkling snow. She carried it with her wherever she went, propped it on her bedside table and made up stories about those who lived inside the glowing soft yellow window of the hut. It was a "never was" place that drove her imagination to wander through woods covered in pasted-on silvery glitter and later to draw, to paint that scene. It was a place of safety, of peace, of warmth and comfort. It was a child's, a little girl's dreaminess of perfection, of pink and purple, of billowing party dresses and glitter on greeting cards.

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