Joy had escaped, managing to slip away for a few moments from the rush and bustle of her gathered family to find the solitude she sought. Snow fell rhythmically, gently rocking back and forth in the breeze to land on the white landscape that stretched before her. Trees, too tall to be practical Christmas trees indoors, stood tall and relaxed along the path she walked.
They make better Christmas trees right here in the woods anyways. She thought.
The sun, tucked away behind the clouds, illuminated the grey sky and the crunch of snow beneath Joy’s feet was the only sound to be heard, the snow behaving like a muffler over the world around.
It wasn’t eerily quiet, it was a calm quiet – very peaceful – the type of quiet that allowed her to forget everything and focus on the here and the now, completely on herself and her surroundings.
It was winter days like these where Joy would often find herself drawn to the woods behind her house, to the solitude and the peace offered beneath the snow-laden evergreen boughs. It was her place of escape where the bustle of traffic and the noise of others couldn’t penetrate the serenity – as if, when she was here, the world ceased turning.
The flakes had grown gradually thicker as she walked, some now the size of a dime, and she stuck out her tongue, giddy like a school girl, and dipped and jumped, catching them easily. The breeze whipped the flakes into her face and she straightened and, letting her knees buckle, she knelt in the snow. There, she sat on her heels, closed her eyes, sighed and simply let go – let herself forget and enjoy the peace for a few quiet moments.
She felt a calm spread through her. It began in her chest, a tiny feeling of release and she smiled as it spread through her arms, releasing the tension and weight they held within her tightly knit muscles. It worked its way down her spine and gave her a tingly feeling as it exited through her toes. She felt lighter, peaceful and whole, something she hadn’t felt in quite a while. Standing, she dusted the snow off her denim jeans and, taking one last deep breath, turned back towards home, and towards the love of her family, ready to take on all of their wonderful craziness once again, the quiet, calm and solitude of the forest having erased her worries and tension.