Water and Ice
I recall a short story I had written in school back in Scotland looking out of our window at the whirling snowstorm blanketing our streets, roofs and gardens. We were young. My teacher said we could reach for the stars. I questioned that statement.
It fell fast and hard as we threw snowballs at each other in the back green. We stopped and together the three of us made a snowman. Over five feet tall with chestnuts for its eyes and baby carrots for its lips. I was so uncomfortable, perspiring as a chilly wind blew through my thick wooly jumper specifically made to keep you protected from the elements.
When completed, I stepped back to admire my work. The snowman’s expression was not one of joy but fear. I rearranged the lips physically with my fingers turning them into a smile. But as the snow fell faster the expression changed once again and looking into the chestnut eyes of this inanimate object I knew there was nothing else I could do.
There was nothing he could do either. He had no brain, therefore no courage, no heart therefore no pulse, and regardless of my desire to alter this thing I could not change, I watched helplessly as its physical appearance morphed moment by moment into something I had not created. A thin crust of ice had formed around the body. There was nothing left but a large lumpy pile of snow as icy blasts shot through our garden.
And they told me I could be anything I wanted to be. That’s what the teacher said. Anything. Reach for the stars. And I guessed it was all a lie. I knew at the end there was one ultimate truth. Whatever we were here, we would all disappear, regardless of our understanding of love and hate.
I walked towards the snowman and systematically pulled it apart. I swiped, punched and kicked as the wind blew harder and the fierce biting wind attacked every fibre of my flesh. I crushed this thing until it was gone. The water was still water, the ice was still ice but the man was no more. Because, quite simply, he had never been in the first place.
I looked up at the dark grey clouds and felt thousands upon thousands of snowflakes swirling around me, melting on my lips and blinding my eyes. I was awake and I knew I was not dreaming. I knew I was alive and I knew in my heart I would be spending some extra time in space on this little planet.
Categories: Art, Blog, Creative writing, Poem, Poetry, Snowman