When I am coming home from work on winter evenings, the sky looks far too cold. All of the warmth and all of the colors have drained away. The bristling arms of the trees reach into the night sky in desperation. The wind aims for me, and the blackness of the woods is such a threat.
I hate coming home on winter nights. I hate the darkness of my driveway. I hate the brittle sound of icy branches clicking together over my head as I hurry toward the house. Like the fingers of giants they clack and snick and I can only think of icy blades above me.
On winter nights, I hate the sound of the wind in the trees behind my house, moving and sneaking through the frozen wetlands and coming too close. Coming for me.
When I come home on winter nights, I am in touch with all of the ancients who came before me. I know that they feared the darkness and the cold! That fear comes back, no matter what I tell myself. I am safe in my car, with my XM radio and my down filled coat and my automatic garage door opener. I am a modern, civilized, safe citizen of a well developed world. What is there to fear, really?
I am not sure. But whatever it is, it breathes on my neck as I creep slowly down the drive and peer into the woods that surround us.
When I am home, though, and safely enclosed within the walls of that house, I have no fear of the winter night. When the fire is lit, and the oven is on, when there is music playing and the dogs are sleeping on the couch, I feel secure and safe and supremely protected.
When I am safe inside, I shake my fist at the frigid night. I fear no clicking branches, no shadowed forest, no creeping silent predator. When I am inside, looking out, I welcome the winter night because it reminds me that I am sheltered and secure.
Tomorrow, though, I will have to step outside before the sun has risen.
All bets will be off when I do.
10 thoughts on “Winter nights”
I can so identify with this. It translates on many levels. How lovely though to see your kitchen window – so cosy. So tomorrow, when all bets are off, know this. You will not be alone. I too will be leaving in the dark – and probably in the gales that are heading our way if the weather man is right. Take care lovely lady 😉
Oh, no, what gales are you facing, my friend? I’ll be out there, metaphorically holding your hand! Be safe, be warm!
Very nice piece; I enjoyed this very much.
I’m very glad that you did! My guess is that you are warm and cozy, am I right?
Just before I clicked this post open, John and I were exclaiming at the sadness we feel when the world is pitch black and it is only 6 p.m.! The dark is so much scarier when you know you can slip on your butt on the ice at any moment!
It really is!!! I am always a bit surprised at just how scary I find these winter evenings, especially as I race home to try to beat the darkness.
Be safe, my dear!
I have to go out to the bank now. I forgot. Brrrrrrrrrr. Scary!
loved the picture. This reminds me of my youngest, no matter how often I tell her the world is the same in the dark as it is in the day, she is not having a bar of it. She would definitely understand your post.
The darkness is the darkness, and we can’t talk ourselves out of our reactions to it!
As a teenager, I lived in the heart of the city. I would come home, many times minutes before or after my curfew. Our driveway was at the back of the house, and in being positioned there, it was also behind a large apartment building that housed many people. Most nights I was fine pulling into the driveway, parking and then running into the house through the back door, trying to unlock it as quickly as I could so I could get in and lock it behind me, keeping out the evil I imagined was lurking out there waiting to get me. Fast forward to now as I live in the country, in a town which seems to shut down at 9:00 because very few places are open and the roads are deserted after 9. It’s dark when I pull into my driveway some nights, and I still run into the house as fast as I can, but this time it’s wild animals I fear. Guess I’m just a fraidy cat no matter where I live 🙂