Friday, February 04, 2011

Squeaky Footsteps - McCormick Brandon

When it's many degrees below zero, boots squeak on snow. Breath hangs in the air like little clouds. Noses turn red, frost clings to lashes. A windless frozen day, tree branches stiff, dangerous as swords.

Feet tramp down the crispy trail, toes sting with chill. Alone in the cold. The sensation links us to nature, forces us to feel our fragility. Without a warm fire at the end of the trail, blood would turn to ice; we'd perish. Most days we don't feel our humanity; we don't remember how dependent we are on something as basic as fire. Cold draws out our primitive nature.

Freezing temperatures also have medicinal qualities. As a child, our son Carson suffered bouts of croup. My husband and I woke often in the middle of the night to the sound of his whooping gasps. We'd bundle him into a snow suit and carry him outside. While the rest of the street slept, we took turns pacing; back and forth; our steps squeaked on the front porch. Under a dark, star-filled sky, God seemed close. We looked to Him to ease our son’s laboured breathing. Step, inhale, step, exhale. Our breath-clouds hung in mid-air.

An hour in the cold. Just what the doctor ordered to open swollen passages. We return our son to his crib. Rest on little one, our squeaky steps have made you whole.

Prayer comes easy when accompanied by the sound of my boots squeaking on snow-covered ground. Cold snaps me back to reality; makes me thankful for simple things like fire.
When worry overwhelms, a winter walk can be just what’s needed. Each boot squeak draws us closer to God.


Peter Black said...

Imaginative, poigant, and personal.
Rose, thank you for sharing this family story. I enjoyed the discriptive, poetic flow.

Marcia said...

Lovely. Thanks, Rose

Peter Black said...

Yes, lovely , indeed.
But, Aaargh! and Ahem -- that should have been "descriptive"! :(

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