They sat around the fire dressed in layers of sweaters, coats, scarves and mittens. Frayed, shoddy, with boots stuffed with rags to keep out the snow.

Waiting for Spring; always waiting for Spring. Grumbling that she was late again. That winter bit deeper each day she lingered in the mountains.

Snow scudded clouds across grey skies; ice winds like needles against their cheeks. How could she keep them waiting? Did she not care?

Having too much fun, they thought; dawdling; sprinkling abundance elsewhere. Dropping warmth; dripping sunlight.

What if she did not come? What if winter was forever? Hell has frozen over, they complained, trapping them in the ice.

Each stick of wood reduced the pile; barely kept the cold from eating through their backs.

Then, far off, they thought they heard a lilting, a voice bright as a bell. Spring? Could she really be returning?

Each stood; straining to hear if it was her or a trick of the jokester winter wind.

Stamping feet; blowing on hands. Keeping hearts beating; blood pulsating for one more moment. Stretching into night.

Starscape, cold and cruel whirred above them. Winter stars, pricks of ice.

Then it came again, the sound of pure voice singing. Melting their frozen hearts. Spring was coming home. Their daughter was returning.

Dawdling, slogging, frozen creativity for tale weaver #159 : the coming of spring

image: diapicard via