Upon A Midnight Clear
Last night I came to the kitchen for a midnight snack. So as not to disturb our sleeping lovebird, I walked to the sink to turn on the smaller light. Before turning it on I glanced out the window. The curtains were open, the night was clear and the half-moon reflected off the stiff snow. I saw a dark form under the birdfeeder, maybe 20 feet from the house, and after careful inspection realized it was my rabbit friend. He sat sort of hunched and with his fur fluffed against the frigid air, but not hiding and not eating. Just sitting and staring.
Just sitting. I have no idea what was in his head, of course, but the impression I got was one of quiet acceptance, not complaining about the cold or suffering it, just in it. Quiet and waiting for nothing. I wanted in that moment to be like him, instead of huddled under thick blankets in my heated house or bundled against the weather.
Such unforced stoicism.
I thought he might be waiting, wistfully, for a snack from me, so I carefully opened the door, hoping he would come up as he does in the summer. But no. Perhaps because sounds are different in darkness, or he was on guard, or (though I prefer it otherwise) it was a different rabbit altogether, whatever the reason, he bolted at the creak of the frozen lock, and vanished into the gloom by the back fence, leaving one more pattern of footprints to those already crisscrossing the yard.
And leaving me with an image impressed into my memory. I only hope I do it approximate justice here.
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