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Northbound

June 2, 2009

It’s the time of the season.

The lyrics of The Zombies come to mind looking out the window on this cold December morning. The season’s first dusting of snow covers the ground, swirling in the wake of the cars on the highway and outside the windows of the train as we roll northbound.

Wisps of smoke curl from the chimneys of houses in the tiny communities we pass. Yard lights still illuminate the fading darkness shortly after dawn. Most of the windows are still dark. Do the people inside even notice our passage, a streak of silver and lights flashing by outside their windows? Are they even awake? Or are they sleeping in on a Saturday morning.

Mile after mile of flat farmland passes. The fields, filled with corn and beans ready for harvest seemingly yesterday, are bare with a thin white blanket as they slumber in wait for the spring’s growing season. Occasionally I see large rolled bails of hay, looking for the world like a scattering of Frosted Mega-Wheats.

Our seats are filled this morning, packed with holiday shoppers from central Illinois headed north for a weekend of shopping in the big city. A few long distance travelers gaze out the window at the winter landscape. Could they be wondering what on earth they are doing leaving the warmth south of the Mason Dixon line for the chill of Yankee country?

Further north we go, the veil of white grows thicker. The beautiful fall weather of just weeks ago is but a memory and Old Man Winter has arrived, holding the landscape in his icy grip.

Baby, it’s cold outside.

Northward we go in a swirl of ice and snow, a flash of silver, light and sound through the peaceful winter landscape.

The sun isn’t shining, but it’s still a beautiful morning.

———-

Copyright 2008 – Mary Rae McPherson

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