Perfect and Peaceful
The snow floats softly to the ground like feathers when sifted through one's fingers. It's been snowing for three days, and the pine trees bend with their heavy load. One could almost feel sorry for them, if they weren't so beautiful. The fields are one broad, undisturbed snow plain-the way it can get only when there is no wind.
The snow piles high on the roof. Mounds run along the bases of the walls where the snow piled too far over the edge of the roof. The scene is one which might be found on a Christmas card: perfect and peaceful.
Inside the house, the stereo plays at a volume which could be heard a mile away on a summer's day. The children are running around, screaming at each other, and the mother is screaming at them.
"Mom!" shouts one of the kids, "He hit me."
"I did not. I've been watching TV,"another screams in reply.
"Mom, can I turn down the stereo? It's too loud!"
"Turn it off!" she yells, "It's giving me a headache."
"Mom!" the first child shouts again.
"Shut up, or I'll give you both a licking!"
And so it goes all day, screaming, shouting, squealing-sometimes over big things, but mostly over the little things. Things that wouldn't bother them if someone else had done them. But this is their family, and they can't tolerate each other.
Outside, the snow still falls. The more that falls, the more beauty is revealed. The sun cannot be seen, but its light shines and the scene is bright. It is perfect and peaceful.
"Go upstairs and make your bed!" the mother orders
"Do you have to yell?" one shouts back.
"Yes, I did, because if I hadn"t, you wouldn't have done it!"
"Yes,I would have!"
"No, you wouldn't!"
"Just for that, I'm not going to!"
"Oh, you just wait till your father gets home!"
"You won't tell him!"
"Just wait and see!"
The tallest corn stalks, dried, pale, and brittle, have long since been covered by the beautiful crystals. The snow continues to fall, flowing endlessly from the sky. It falls harder now, piling high on the ground, on the roof, and on the trees. The scene is so perfect and peaceful.
"Mom, we got a leak!"
"In your bedroom."
"Oh, no! Get the buckets! You did it putting up; the antenna!"
"Ma, don't blame me!"
"You could have been more careful!"
A tree hangs over the house, bent by the heavy burden of white. Then, in one smooth motion, almost silently, the tree falls. The house, sheltered under the tree, is crushed flat. The snow smothers the disturbance, and the ruins blend into the perfect and peaceful scene.