I was 17 when I wrote this, and probably 19 when I wrote the “commentary” for the website I had at the time. I still love this piece, though. So be kind!
Commentary: This was a school assignment given to me in late November 2002 by Mr. Coolidge, a teacher I will always remember. The assignment was to sit outside in nature for 20 minutes and write a prose piece about what we observed. The other students grumbled, but I was ecstatic–it wasn’t often that year that I was given the chance to be so creative and descriptive, the two aspects of my writing style I most enjoy. This piece didn’t have a title, but I decided to title it after a phrase in the first line, that I thought was quite intriguing.
It’s not pretty winter outside. It’s the kind of winter that came too quickly and didn’t let autumn finish. It’s bitter cold and viciously windy. The gusts of wind blow the leaves around and make them dance on the hard, icy snow. The leaves aren’t bright anymore, but instead are all the same monotone shade of brown, crumpled and floating over everything, clinging desperately to the tree limbs.
The sky has bunches and bunches of clouds, the colors ranging from off-gray-white to deep, forboding charcoal. In tiny pockets, little pieces of baby blue sky peek through. The wind keeps gusting, right through my clothes, sucking the breath out of me. It is so cold. Everything is icy and slippery.
The only colors are gray, black, white and brown; different shades. The spindly gray tree branches scratch at the sky, the crumpled fragments of unfallen leaves still clinging to them in the wind. Plants that were once lush and green in the summer have died and withered, turning into a fragile web of delicate brown stems and shriveled leaves, dark in contrast to the gray-white snow, like old Victorian lace.
There are some adorable, gray, round-bellied birds sitting at the feeder. A chickadee perches on a branch for a few seconds, cocks her head, and flies away. They’re so skittish, they seem to live in fear of everything. I would hate to always feel like I had to run away from something that might hurt me.
Night falls quickly, and the sky becomes dark with clouds, transparent where the almost-full moon shines bluish-white through them. The wind is howling fiercely, making the most haunting noises as it rushes through the trees. It is frighteningly noisy, and not at all peaceful or calm. The navy blue velvet sky above is open in places, revealing a few glittering stars.