There is something incredibly fulfilling about waking before the sun, confused and wondering what it could be that has pulled one from sleep so much earlier than usual, to look out the window and behold those first fat, fresh flakes swirling in the moonlight. She doesn't always wake me when She comes, so those times when I am called send a tingle down my spine and fill my heart with gratitude for the opportunity. I grab my black wool coat, my head scarf, boots, and a libation. The kids are sleeping. The dog is sleeping. It is an enormous rarity for me to be alone. The steps outside my back door are treacherously icy, so I must navigate carefully. I am not known for my grace.
The puff of my breath comes long and slow as I re-gather Her kindling, strewn about by a particularly naughty German shepherd, into a neat pyramid. It is always painful to me to disturb the pristine whiteness that covers the ground. It seems sacreligious, though I know I must do it, so I step carefully, deliberately. I pour the spirits on the ground and take a swig myself, grimacing at the fire that clutches my throat. My cheeks flush, even with just this minimal consumption. I've always been a lightweight. I whisper words reserved only for Her and settle myself beside the birdfeeder, after filling it, to listen to Her response. The snow nearly always stops for at least a brief bit after our exchange. She may come back later, She may not.
Back up the icy steps, into the warm interior of my home, and now I can shake the melting snow from my garments and hang them over the heater vent. The liquor is put away, high above my head and out of reach of curious little hands. I won't be able to sleep now that the brisk early morning air has invaded my brain. I press my hot cheek to a frosty window and watch the splendour resume.