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  • Writer's pictureTamara Chicoine


Updated: Feb 3, 2022

Pages Found from Old Man Winter's Diary

There are patches of brown on my knees now. She's near. I can feel her in the wind.

Daylight has shifted, shadows are taller. The river tosses ice in anticipation of her, crushes it against the shore. The green eyed, long legged Spring is so close, I can smell the scent of lilac from her breath. I'm weary, filthy. My white coat is splotched with muck, and tuffs of fur from the coyote and fox as they rid their cumbersome coats for her coming.

Oh, how they adore her. She can be early, she can be late, and yet they all love her. The world blooms and buds for her. Even the sun worships her, lingers longer in the evening for her. Secretly, I love her, too. At times I have amused myself with the delicious thoughts of a May, December romance. But no, she holds the hot hand of the tanned

and caballero Summer. She flirts with the distant Autumn, but keeps him at bay. Minx.

Tonight in the darkness, I will depart. An early robin has warned me of her impending arrival. Even this bird is sheepish in my presence. I could smother his life with my chill. My memories will come with me. The sharp hiss of a child's skate spraying ice on the outdoor pond. The echoing of a slap shot as they hurry after one another, chasing a black puck below the yellow moon. How sweet, the offering of their mitts and scarves they leave for me on park benches. I have delighted as the children roll and caress me with their hands to make plump people of snow. I have watched them through button eyes, and smelled them through carrot noses, and waved at them through tree branch arms. Best of all, the children have laid on me, and carved the shape of an angel deep into me.

When I arrived months earlier, I was for a moment saddened. The bear had gone into the cave, the sunflowers lowered their heads in misery, and leaves from the Hawthorn shuttered to the ground. Even the frog prefers the muddy tomb to hibernate, instead of my company. I have at times, come unannounced to surprise them all in their glory, but it only snuffed them out sooner. The purple sage perished. The tomato plants in the garden went limp, the ladybug froze under the pumpkin leaves. My harsh hand ended their life.

So, I must be content with the order of things. I console myself by knowing that if it were

not for me, there would be no howl of Huskies as their padded feet moved in unison over the wide expanse of me, the trail of sled tracks marking me. No snowshoe would plough

through the growth of evergreens, no skating on Rio Canal, New Year's Eve in Moscow without me? Never.

In my discontent I have shut down Deerfoot trail, skidded cars into ditches on the Trans-Canada Highway, and I have commanded people to shovel and shovel and shovel, until they curse me with cruel, disdainful language. And yes, I have shown my wrath to Spring, just when she is in the height of her loveliness, when she has teased the apple tree to bloom, I have returned to mute her, however briefly. But she knows her magnitude, and she pushes me back into my place, back into the order of things.

I stare at her now. I blink, and turn away from her. I will never tell her how her beauty stuns me. I am aware that something more powerful than both of us, destines me. My

strongest want will not allow me to stay. I am only permitted the smallest taste of her. Perhaps if the order of things allow, I will make a visit in the month of May, long weekend,

just to look at her. I will try to be gentle.

Pages found of Man Winter's Diary 4/7/2021

by the river.

An Original Essay

by Tamara Morozoff Chicoine

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