By Paula Damon
“All the complicated details of the attiring and the disattiring are completed….” From “Winter Trees,” a poem by William Carlos Williams
Supersaturating barrenness, hoar frost emerges gently from a clear frigid eve, dressing every hanging limb and twig with an intricately frozen chemistry between air temperature and moisture content.
Born thick and snow-like, these interlocking ice crystals appear as spiny feathers. Sublimely rendering a smoky backdrop from far off to the near, an elaborately stretched white canvas dazzles before me.
Seldom does one witness such rhapsodic finery – a ripe orchard of ubiquitous plurality.
Nudged now and then by slight breezes, courtly flakes trickle across the fainted blue canvas of sky. Crisply-designed artist’s masterpieces, each one triumphantly dances over air, delicately suspended on tiptoes.
An ethereal acolyte, hoar frost serves as a dewy standard-bearer for all that is true and right about Mother Nature.
Brisk embossed beauty, this, her gentler persona, ushers in the antidote to her other ill self – a much darker side, the manic, hungry one, waiting in the wings of springtime’s stage.
Soon enough, when emboldened the Earth gradually turns and aims directly at the sun, that one will come barreling forth, storming through, devouring daylight, breath and all that is familiar.
But for now, hoar frost, how I delight in your honeycombed presence. Celestial, holy, encased by wonder and peace, you are solemn delight.
Sophisticated purity, you are sweat equity mitigating piles of downtrodden drudgery left on my doorstep by winter’s unyielding rigidity.
Your patterned grace outflanks all others. A re-coronation of the spirit, yours is not an empty gesture, but a promising rainbow – a covenant sign.
Oh, lyrical hoarfrost, your supernatural chorus angles softly through dawning light. Everywhere, frilly veils of maddeningly supreme artistry delightfully dangle.
Fresh, righteousness hoarfrost, cloaks trees, bushes and grass blades, threading them with gusto. Like a mighty marching band, vaulting the senses, ministering hope.
Symphonically serenading, secretly hemming us in with complex, yet strident serenity, saving us from wintry plight.
Like a new birth in the family, crystalline glazed droplets, mannered piously and prettily versed, hoar frost surprises and moves all who testify to its existence.
As sun rises, gaining strength, these radiant supernatural jewels, ever so regal in precision and stature, begin to wither and eventually will expire.
Hoar frost, a dismal name for such a temptingly beautiful gift of nature. Certainly, Champion Chariot, Queenly Guest or Shimmering Sojourner would be more suited.
“Don’t leave,” I cry, staring after its once regal, now diminishing stature. “Follow me into tomorrow, where we will waltz in singular motion to and fro in early morning light.”
Not yielding to my beckoning soul, glistening hoarfrost, circles softly, spiraling away to disappearing.
Until next time, when supersaturating barrenness, hoar frost will emerge gently from a clear frigid eve, dressing every hanging limb and twig with an intricately frozen chemistry between air temperature and moisture content.
Hoar frost. Ethereal acolyte, dewy standard-bearer for all that is true and right about Mother Nature.
“All the complicated details of the attiring and the disattiring are completed …”