First Snow

Everyone else rushed for town when the clouds grew dark, but not I – I fell asleep. Some time during the night I woke up. Not because I heard some strange sound, but because there was no sound.

As I fell asleep I could hear the wind blowing through the trees – rustling the few leaves that had refused to fall. I could hear the waves gently lapping the shoreline. I could hear raccoons coming to wash their food in the lake. I could hear the choir of insects that is always present.

But when I woke I didn’t hear anything. I reached up and felt the weight of the snow on my tent. My senses were alive. I could hear the sound of my own breathing, the sound of my heart beating. I tried to lie still and listen. I tried to hear the snow falling. I couldn’t hear anything outside of the world of my little tent. As I lay there I could hear my thoughts – I wasn’t trying to think about anything, but my thoughts came unbidden.

I thought of the world turning white, of the streams freezing. I though to the poor of our town shivering in their makeshift homes. I tried to think of something else, but all I could do was think about  how I could help – of the roof I could repair or the blanket I could bring to a little child.

I tried to go back to sleep, but my thoughts were so loud in the absence of everything else, that I couldn’t – not until I prayed to God and decided that in the morning I would go to town and see how I could help. Once I did, I slept well in the silence.

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