Sundown to Sundown

The sun has not kissed our rosey cheeks in many long weeks—rosey from the bite of the winter wind whistling through the trees. The sun dwindles behind pearl grey skies as fall winds to a close. When she does show her face it’s in the break of a squall; slanting across freshly fallen snow. Sudden quiet, sudden illumination, and just as suddenly, gone. The bleak frozen sky stretches across our white world, edge to edge.

Sometimes our hamlet is roughly boxed in and elsewhere ceases to be. I see the church, the farm across the field, the neighbours’ house. But beyond the limits of the signs decrying habitation, there is only an abyss of white. Then sundown. Then dark and the whirl of snow in the glimmer of the single streetlight.

The barns are cloaked, the drifts high, the gardens buried. The frogs hibernate below the fractals marring the surface of the icey pools and ponds. There is no buzz of insects. Someone pressed pause. Feral cats shelter in the rafters of the barn and beyond it, deer and coyotes roam across the fields.

This is winter on Bruce County’s back roads.

Image courtesy of photographer Christiane Nuetzel.

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