Eager, hoody-hugged ruddy face frozen in sunshine, eyes blistered by the spotless acre of virgin snow. The buzzing riot of un-mown grass and sodding weeds now resting in oblivion, obliterated beneath a zen sheet of purity, dying to be spoiled.
That’s how he remembers the first White Christmas, after church, his dry woolly mittens still un-snowballed, welly-tops yet unbreached, the dazzling field daring him to write his two-step prose all across it.
An exquisite ache grows in his gut while he stands in the porch – an awful inner conflict of desire. How could he transgress this holy shroud? Yet how could he not?
Poised like some righteous iconoclast, he’s on the verge of destroying this priceless piece – not with many scars, but simply the one, disastrous footstep, plunged gleefully, fatally, into the yielding, almost weightless page – with that first word that breaks the silence, the first dreadful ink on the top line.
He knows he will, and so he does. Despite his bully brother’s dire warning, he defers no longer.
And every time he puts down the pen and looks back on the criss-crossed, desecrated soft sweep, golden in light and blue in shadow, he silently weeps.