**A couple winters ago, I took a walk in a nearby forested area just before a winter storm arrived**
The trail is quiet. God’s Creation is often best enjoyed in solitude. Only birds join me on my walk. Some sparrows, cardinals and robins actively scamper about, chirping loudly. A cardinal watches me. I am a curious spectacle on such a cold day. I walk on. The forest floor is littered with fallen leaves, dormant grass, and fallen tree limbs. Some lively green grass and moss and lichen add a splash of color to an otherwise simple landscape. The red twigs of sleeping Acer rubrum also stand out.
I walk on. The trees about me sway ever-so gently. A few ragged leaves still cling to their warm-weather homes, on the branches of oaks and maples. In the midst of so many trees, the blotched-white trunk of the sycamore stands out like a sylvan beacon. It is cold, but not windy. It is the calm before the next snow storm. More snow will soon join the remnant white dusting that still hides in the shadows of the forest.
I find myself at a clearing with the sun to my face. In the frigid cold, the distant eternal fire warms my chest. I stand for several minutes staring into the tall grass, mesmerized by the thousands of minuscule movements as each gentle breeze blows by. The trees behind me also nod to the breezy passerby. The view above me is consumed by a cool blue ceiling, with only a few gleaming white clouds. The foreboding snow-storm front slowly approaches on the distant horizon.
I begin my trek back; my back now garners the warming attention of the sky-fire. I unsuccessfully pursue my shadow back into the forest. Every tree, bush and vine, cast cool shadows on my back as I hike on. A lone bluejay has discovered me and saw fit to alert the area. As a more forceful breeze brushed me by, I made my exit from this winter wonder land.