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Icicles on bicycles, frozen spiderwebs on flowerbeds;
it’s spring now, but the snow just doesn’t want to go.
Children are enraptured in the joy of playing outside,
building snowmen, and having snowball fights;
eager travellers, who want to jet-off to warmer climates,
are checking-in at their airport arrivals desk
and finding out that their departure from winter England
may be delayed, or sadly one of the unfortunate “Cancelled Flights”.

The weather is the topic of almost every-other conversation-
some people are embracing it for pleasure,
some people are venturing out at the cost of their own lives,
some people are saying that they “have had enough”;
while other people make the most of the snow-
the way it falls like sprinkled sugar on a bowl of cereals,
the way it lies so beautifully on the ground,
the way it records the momentary paths of passersby,
animals, birds foraging for food-
some try to go as fast as they can,
while others just take it slow.

The wind blows the snow like dust;
the world looks like another planet;
on every window there is a thick white frost;
every pavement, every road, is covered so overwhelmingly,
and the snow is so compacted it is as hard granite.
People live in a perpetual ice-life everyday somewhere on Earth,
and they carry on regardless;
we here in the UK always say that we are prepared
for all weather eventualities,
but when weather like the cold-front
that has been visiting us recently, and testing out tolerance, comes,
we are always left dazed for days,
we always struggle to adapt-
some reach their peak, and some surpass their peak,
of being overcome with debilitating levels of stress.
I, on the other hand, take every step in my stride
and I treat every footprint in the snow
as if it were one small step on the moon.
I will always have great memories of my time growing up:
playing in the snow with my sister,
remembering my Dad taking my sister and me
for a sledge-ride to the shops near our home-
magical memories that take my breath away
and rise like hot air inside of a balloon.

The temperature is rising,
the sky is turning blue,
the snow is melting,
the wishes of millions are coming true.
The snow is returning to from whence it came;
people thinking about their commute to work tomorrow
breath a sigh of relief-
until the weather presenter on the TV says that
snow may fall again during the night,
and that “there may be a chance of some rain”.

Spring is here, Summer will arrive before we know it,
and I think I can safely say that the climate of Earth
and the seasons of nature are changing,
and we must all change, adapt, and be prepared for everything-
because, who knows what is waiting in the wings to arrive,
who knows what the winds of uncertainty will bring.

I saw a black swan on the river today,
swimming in the ice-cold morning air.
Alone the black swan made its way without a care-
one of the most amazing sights I have ever seen,
the swan captured my attention
and stimulated my imagination almost immediately.
The stark contrast of its beautiful black feathers and its red beak
to the white of the surrounding snow.
As it made its way down the river
the black swan looked up at me as it passed me,
and for a second we two exchanged a gaze that stunned me-
so much so that I watched until it left my sight
and went to where I was unable to follow.
I had never seen a black swan before, but on this day of all days
I was not lost on the significance of its symbolism and meaning.
Seeing the black swan,
as I made my way to say my final goodbye to a good friend,
made me stop and think
on this personal journey of remembrance that I was taking,
that the world was trying to tell me something,
that I was going to receive a gift on this day
that would be for me and for me alone to understand,
but the consequence of that would be heart-breaking.

I had attended my friends funeral, but I hadn’t really said goodbye;
I had written a poem describing how I felt about their passing,
but I felt that I hadn’t really spoken to them as I always had;
I felt that simply attending my friends funeral service
and sharing my sorrow with their family was not enough-
in my mind, I thought that I needed to go back to their grave
and reconnect with them in some way,
so that I may hear them again,
and maybe I would stop feeling sad.

The snow covered everything in the graveyard,
but I remembered where the body of my friend now lay
without a second thought.
The wind was bitterly-cold as I stood facing the frozen Earth
above and below the now empty shell of my friend.
As I spoke to them in hushed-tones hoping that they could hear me,
because I knew that my memory was quickly fading
and that time was growing short.
After standing with my head bowed in solace and in silence
remembering everything that I could about my friend,
an image of the black swan that I had seen began to grow in my mind
until it was all that I could think about-
and then, above me, to my awe, shock, and astonishment,
I looked up and saw a black swan flying in the sky over-head,
and I fell to the ground at the sight of the black swan’s wings
outstretched like a dark angel ascending to the white-coloured clouds.
After regaining my footing,
I was fortunate to just catch the sight of the black swan
before it disappeared into the fog of the horizon-
as I did I swore that I heard my name being spoken somewhere far-away
in a whisper that I could barely hear,
but its depth of resonance was unmistakable-
like the crashing waves of an ocean.

Making my way home, the gift that I had received continued to ring in my head.
My memory of the swan that I had seen was glowing,
as if I had seen it in infrared.
I felt this feeling in my heart that my friend was still here in some way-
that their part to play in the universe was now proceeding on a different path-
that they will return to life in other forms, their essence will never be gone.
I had thought it impossible to accept the truth of my friends death,
and to try and reconcile the reason for his return to the source of all life,
until I saw the beauty, and caught the gaze, of the black swan.

Snowflakes swirl, fly, and dance, in the air,
as they slowly descend to the already white-covered floor-
billions of intricate and perfect frozen tears
dusting and blanketing the world before me.
It is like standing in the middle of a snowglobe.
No one can see anything in front of them,
everyone just jeeps going as best, as fast,
and as caustiously, as they can-
not letting the weather keep them in one place,
not even this unrelenting snowfall.

Seeing familiar landmarks veiled below frozen fields
that makes everything look indistinguishable from everything else,
a new world reveals itself, a new light shines, a new beauty arises,
the sky becomes the Earth, the Earth becomes the sky;
the sun is obscurred from view, all is bright,
and suddenly every-day things that you may sometimes miss
start to catch your eye.

A red british postbox has never looked more amazing
and glowing than against a white back-drop;
roads and motorways have never seemed more ghostly,
nor more other-worldly, than when you drive down them
in the middle of a blizzard,
when you are relying on the lights of the vehicles
in front of you to save you from coming to a sudden,
immediate, and perhaps costly stop.

Walking on what you cannot see,
walking on something that you have to constantly reteach yourself
how to walk on with every step,
makes you think more about your surroundings,
forces you to not take anything for granted,
and to expect the unexpected-
it doesn’t take much to take a false step in the snow below
and seconds later to find yourself in a skid.

In this weather you need to wrap-up warm, keep on the move,
stay dry, make the most of every shelter and cover that you come across,
don’t rush to wherever you are going, give yourself time, stay inside-
the snow can seem like a disruption if you have got somewhere to go;
but you cannot not appreciate its beauty, its magic,
its gift of contemplation-
nothing else opens your eyes to the world more wide.

Looking at the world, staring at the white cloud-covered sky,
at the snow-carpeted ground, and at the bare branches of the trees,
while wearing the biggest and the warmest coat that I could find
to protect me from the cold and the ice-
I look at where I am standing,
I look at the landscape that nature is remaking,
and I smile to myself at the thought that, as things stand right now,
this must be the most perfect winter wonderland that I have ever seen,
and it would be the most sublime snowman’s paradise.

Sunlight and sound in the morning air
on a bright and beautiful brand new day-
a sight that I have not seen for a long time,
because for weeks every time I looked up at the sky
all that I could see were thick clouds of grey.

From the song of birds outside my window,
to the distant rumble of an airplane taking-off
beyond the horizon;
from the pale blue firmament above me
shimmering in the sun’s golden glow,
to the return to the world that I feel now
after feeling so removed-
I truly believe that, like the chorus of this new day,
like the remastering of the world
that appears to have happened while I was sleeping,
something amazing has just begun.

I feel like I could look up at this sky
all day and just stare.
I don’t know what it is about today of all days.
I guess there is just something in the air.

You don’t realize how much you take for granted
the warmth of the sun on a summer’s day,
until you stand outside on a December morning, or night,
and try to stop yourself from shaking
because of the unbelievable cold of winter,
as it works its way into your bones, and effects everything:
from the lucidity of your thoughts, to the clarity of your sight;
you don’t realize how fortunate you are to be able to go inside your home,
lock your front-door behind you, turn the heating on-
until you see a homeless person on the street, who has nowhere else to go,
who you then read about days later died
because of their exposure to the bitter cold:
a life that once meant something, but now was no more- gone.

Winter seems to always strike with a shock-wave;
every winter is different than the one before;
I would swear that the winters were getting worse,
however I think I will reserve judgement on that statement
until the snow and the temperature falls to the levels of my childhood:
one year, in which, my parents, my sister, and myself,
couldn’t even leave our house-
the snow was so deep we couldn’t even open the front-door.
Winter can a beautiful, but also a painful, time of the year-
it can be a season of giving, but also one of taking;
winter can be a season of great joy,
but also one when old wounds start aching.

This time of the year means something to me, it always has, it always will;
this time of the year means taking care of yourself,
and taking care of your loved ones in every way possible
by freeing them of the chill in the air that can cause them to fall ill.
This time of the year can leave a mark on you that can stay with you,
as the seasons pass from one to another-
one that never heals properly, that sticks around like a splinter.
However, the sun rises again, the warmth returns to the air,
and, in time, we remember what it all means,
and why all things need to change and move on,
and why it is important that for every summer
there must be a winter.

A seemingly unremarkable man of average height,
stands alone in the street,
slowly being turned into a living snowman,
as the snow falls and covers him in a coat of white.
Strangers trudge through the near foot-deep snow,
slowly passing him by without even a blink of an eye;
children have snowball fights around him,
while the snow-covered man just stands there in his place
looking up at the sky.
The stars cannot be seen,
a grey cloak of clouds has obscured them;
but the mysterious man’s eyes make up for the lack of constellations,
as they shine in the moonlight like never before,
and like they will continue to shine again and again.
He knows a thousand magic tricks,
but on this snowy night the only thing that this magician knows
is that, in the now silent, cold, beautiful, open-air,
the magic of the world is present in every snowflake when it snows.

In a blink of an eye, the magician is now 9 years old-
standing in the snow of a glorious white night,
holding a book of magic tricks in his gloved hands,
and wearing a scarf that reaches down to his ankles,
to protect him from the cold.

As the magician closes his eyes,
he imagines above his head that the clouds have disappeared
and that the light of the galaxy can now be reflected on the snow floor-
to his knowledge he has yet to learn the spell that can control the weather,
but he is willing to give the thought that he can his all.

When the magician opens his eyes,
the frozen moon above his head seems to glow much brighter,
and appears to have grown larger, whiter,
as if it almost fills the sky-
a sky that was once filled with falling snow, and bereft of stars,
is now still, perfect, and beautiful,
the magician could almost cry.
Stars sparkle like fixed snow flakes in the clear night-sky,
all is white, all is peaceful, as the winter wind continues to blow.
A billion wonderful things happened today,
and one person feels and knows that more than most-
a man who sometimes thinks of himself as a ghost,
but who is right now, and forever,
a magician in the snow.

All the leaves have fallen;
all the flowers have gone to bed;
all the webs have been spun;
all the swallows have flown south,
but now there are Robins flying overhead.

The sky is grey, but at times there is a precious hint of blue;
the air is crisp, but at night the eyes of the sky are open-wide
and the lights of the night are in full view.

Pine trees and street lights are daily being adorned
with new colour, sparkle, and flash;
plans and changes are being made constantly,
because the season of glee, gifts, and greeting, is approaching fast.

As most of the world hibernates, quietens,
and goes their way in a winter fashion-
others embrace their days more than ever
with energy, hope, joy, and passion.

It is an amazing time of the year-
filled with beauty, roaring fires, and the coming together of people;
however, what really amazes me every year
is the lengths to which some will go to give their time to others,
so as to make someone else’s life, even for a day, feel full.

Every year I give thanks, in my own way, for the people in my life
who are special beyond words to me, who make my heart beat faster,
and who I am thankful for and cherish-
everyday I give thanks for my fortune of family, friends, followers,
and for my freedom to flourish.

My World

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