It had been a stormy day. The snow fell steadily and the wind blew the snowflakes sideways whipping up the fallen ones and redistributing them to form nomadic drifts that settled nowhere for long. But now it was over. A stillness settled along the street. The skies cleared and the moon shone its magic transforming snow crystals into diamond chips on the crusty surface .
Matthew and his wife Erica lounged in the livingroom enjoying the crackle and warmth of the logs burning in the fireplace. Two and a half year old Alaina played on the floor . It was cozy and safe. The chaos of the storm had abated and calm had settled over the entire street.
Suddenly a thunderous roar of a nearby engine startled Erica from her drowsy repose. “What was that?”
” Just the snowplow ,” replied Matthew.
She settled back down again listening to the changing tempo of the plow’s engine as it pushed, backed up, pushed again and rammed the snow into the bank that was now building up forming a barrier at the edge of their property.
Alaina , roused from making a tower from her building blocks, ran to the window and gazed out. Dragging her stuffed kitty in one hand she stood watching the plow at its work. Her thumb took up its place in her mouth and for minutes she stood sucking and staring. The stuffed kitty in her other hand drooped at her side, its face towards the floor. The lights from the plow filled the room with light, then disappeared, only to return again. And the child shone in the light one minute and drifted into shade the next. And still she sucked, head tilted now to one side. Mom and Dad regarded her thoughtfulness with some amusement . She appeared transfixed . The hypnotic light created waves of brightness. And with each approach there was the roar followed by the sigh as the machine dropped back. This went on for about ten minutes. Then as quickly as it started the lights and the rumble subsided. The denouement was interrupted with the rythmic staccato of Beep ….Beep, beep beep …. beep beep. Matthew and Erica jumped up just as Alaina raised her hand and waved . The giant machine lumbered away .
From the window of the plow a gloved hand waved back .