Dead things are beautiful, too

One of my favourite things about Canada is the changing seasons. I'm from the middle of the Albertan prairies, where we drag our Ugg boots through the grimy slush, mutter about the state of the gas fields, and wait in the Tim Horton's drive-through for half an hour for a coffee. We have four seasons: Melting, Sneezing, Cooling, and Shivering. Sweatshirts, shorts, scarves, down coats. 

By the time we get to Shivering, a heavy layer of snow covers the aerated school yards. Mittens and toques, red noses. Everyone grumbles about the weather and kids these days and rushes to fit winter tires to their four-wheel drives, lest they be caught unprepared. 

I can't sleep. It's Shivering, and I'm too young to know the difference between failing and learning. I've spent the last two hours huddled underneath my two duvets, the radiator beside my bed cranked. Two hours is a long time for me. You can only imagine how long a school day is. I watch the clock on my dresser, the two dots between the hours and minutes blinking sixty times a minute. I know because I count them. 

I can't take it anymore, so I slip from between the covers and yank open my window. The ice that's collected on the edges of the window panes makes it difficult, but after some scraping and a bit of luck I manage to pry it open. Freezing air rushes into my room, fills my insomniac lungs. 

Outside is dead. The neighbours are all in bed, and our street has never been one for nightlife. A snowplow has come through recently, so although the streets are cleared of snow there's still a layer of ice covering the pavement. I'll probably slip on the way to school tomorrow morning. Above me, the sky is black and empty and the lights from the city drown out the choir of stars but it doesn't make it scary, only dark. The darkness isn't so scary if you spend enough time with it. 

The whole whole feels like it's holding its breath. There's an expectation, a waiting, a deep knowing in my soul that if I sit and wait for long enough the bubble we're stuck in will collapse. My world will be turned upside and inside out, like the stories in the books I devour. But no matter how long I wait, nothing happens. 

So I sing. I'm not a great singer by any stretch of the imagination, but I think love is a good enough reason to do something. It's one of the songs from the iPod my parents bought me, and I only half-know the lyrics but I do my best. I sing softly at first, then pick up volume. I don't want to wake up my slumbering family. 

My unsteady voice vibrates the ice crystals hanging in the air and floats down to the street. The song and the deadness in the air permeates the sleeping plants buried deep underneath the snow, sinks into the foundations of the houses on the cul-de-sac, warms my toes. 

Not a soul stirs. The whole world is sleeping, barren, comatose. Yet somehow, with the dead air and the black sky and my quiet voice, it's beautiful. 


  1. That title though xD

    And this was really pretty ^^ I admire you authors that make seemingly ordinary things that are often taken for granted sound super poetic.

    It kinda reminds me of how on Monday, I was waiting for the bus and the there were no cars or people on the road. It was just me and there was just... silence.

    I really found it comforting. Or maybe that's just me being an introvert.

    1. Aw, thanks Grace xxx

      (Hey, aren't you an author too?? I'd love to read some of your stuff, if you ever decided to put it on on your blog.)

      Isn't silence amazing? It's very soothing for me as well.

  2. This is absolutely beautiful. <3 I love how you took this snapshot of life and put the reader directly into every second.

    Would you mind if I shared this post in my end of the year Posts Of The Week compilation?


    1. Thank you so much Alexa! That really means a lot to me :)

      Go for it! I'm honoured :D

  3. Love this! So beautiful. It makes me think of this time when my mom and I stayed up really late watching a movie in the winter. It was about 2am, and I stepped outside for a moment. The light from a huge full moon glittered on the thick frost that covered the ground. Everything was so cold. Nothing moved. There wasn't a sound. The only thing that moved was my breath freezing in the air. It seemed as if time had stopped.

    1. Thank you so much Ashley! I really appreciate your kind words :)

      That sounds like such a magical moment, thank you so much for sharing with me. (Also thanks for reading all my old posts, I know you're usually super busy with school so I really appreciate you taking the time to leave comments!)

  4. So pretty and beautiful title! I really love the summer time, when things are hot and alive. But winter can have it's beauty. A friend once told me that she hated the winter because of how dead the trees were. Then someone told her to look up at the trees against the sky... they weren't dead, they were lace. It was such a pretty story, and made me look at leafless trees in a whole new way :D

    1. Thank you so much Keturah! Oh my goodness, I've never thought about trees as lace, that's such a beautiful image. I love summer as well, but I suppose it's all the different kinds of beauty that makes life so interesting. Both winter and summer are beautiful, while being complete opposites. Thanks so much for visiting and commenting!


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