Snowflakes fall from the sky, landing on my hair and stinging my skin. A pristine, white blanket covers the grass as I make my way around the side of the house and up the slope to where Stonewall lives. The scene is so beautiful, quiet, and peaceful that it feels wrong to spoil it with my footprints.
As Stonewall comes into view, I can see that his shiny, bronze surface is adorned with a dusting of snow as well, on his hat, shoulders, and chest. Next to him, a small Christmas tree still stands, its lights blinking in various colors and patterns. (I was too lazy to take it down in time for the city’s tree pickup week, so Stonewall gets to keep it for at least a little while longer.) On most nights, I bring a flashlight when visiting Stonewall, because it’s difficult to see him otherwise. Tonight, that is not necessary; the snow provides a contrast that makes him easily visible.
I tell Stonewall that I had a good day at work, and that I trust that he had a good day as well, before bidding him goodnight. (My neighbors must think that I am insane for routinely talking to a statue.)
Back inside the house, I eat dinner and work on the computer. Plows, sand trucks, and the occasional bus pass by as the snow continues to fall. The branches of the trees cast eerie shadows on the pristine, white driveway. Several times, I go to the back window to look at Stonewall. Silent and perfectly still, he stands guard over his snowy kingdom. The dark bronze statue and his festive tree, both decorated in delicate blankets of white, make a perfect winter scene. He is so beautiful that it is difficult to take my eyes off of him. In this moment, the world is at peace, and my heart is content.
I wish that I could include a picture to show my readers what I see. But no matter how many times I try, the camera cannot capture what my eyes do. In the digital images, the contrast between Stonewall and the snow disappears, the image blurry and dark. Perhaps it’s just as well that something so magical cannot be stored on a computer, but only in my mind.