It started early and suddenly, which is, I think, the best way to start. Duncan, in the window watching a squirrel slink along the edge of the fence from one tree to the next, noticed it first. My rooibos had barely started to steep in my purple mug. From the kitchen the kettle was still whining the last of its whistle and the light outside hadn't turned quite whole. There was something hollow about the morning and the air was still and quiet.
And then the sky broke and spilled beans of bone onto the tips of the tallest blades of grass, caught on the red leaves and hung in the air like meandering moth dreams.
Duncan is never happier than in the snow, except perhaps when he's sprawled on a lush greenery in the sunshine, or when he turns his face into the wind and rain and tastes the memories of Spring, or when he plays with the sound and drum-music of leaves crushing under his padded feet. I could not deny him so we went out into it, me still in pajamas and a sweatshirt, the hood pulled over my head. He sniffed tentatively and then something kicked in, some scent which triggered a memory he'd misplaced in the daze of Summer, and he ran and ran, circles around me and figure-eights between where I stood and the tree which guards our patio. He never lifted his nose as he went, an addict snorting the season and dancing in the high it brought.
His joy at all I take for granted is glorious.
The snow hides nothing,
keeps no secrets, will not lie;
Time written on bone.