having grown up in colder climes of northern minnesota, from time to time i feel a bit displaced…usually in winter. this is because my childhood during the long months of cold, was filled with sledding, skating, snowball fights, snow forts, snow angles, cross-country skiing, and more and more snow!
these are found memories for me. being the eldest among 7 children in a small house, once the snowplows had left behind massive mountains of snow on the curbside, an immediate remedy for having some time and space alone was afforded me. i’d rush to shovel the front sidewalk, then dig into the four to five foot snowbanks. a snow fort was a necessity for me!
after hollowing one out, i’d harden it inside and out by pouring water on it, which in the extreme sub-zero temps of the season turned into an armor of ice. an old piece of rug or towel was then brought out for a floor. and there it was! my castle of solitude.
of course, here in the deep south along the gulf coast of florida, no such opportunity avails. but this morning i was treated to another of my favourite things about winter…also an exceedingly rare occurance here: sublimation.
sublimation is a physical change in the property of matter, in which matter goes from solid to gas, bypassing the intervening state of being fluid. it is really quite magickal when you pause to think on it, and for a poet like my self, it proves as easy metaphor to describe all sort and manner of transcendent experience.
for example, sublimation can allude to physical love which becomes transcendant, and ethereal. it can describe enlightenment, whereby the physical world is seen for what it truly is, a vapour. it can even serve as a kinder reference for the process we call death. you can probably come up with many more examples of this, especially if you’ve ever witnessed the event.
so imagine my sense of anticipation when upon awakening this morning, before sunrise, while still the waning moon’s beams danced upon rooftops thickly glazed with frost! the prospect for sublimation was made even more probable due to the warming trend forecast for today.
i was not to be disappointed. as the sun climbed higher into the crisp blue skies, its golden touch upon the crystalline deposits on rooftop and lawn, transformed solid ice into gaseous vapor, right before my eyes! like a flash-flood, every allusion, analogy, and metaphor that this vision has ever birthed in my thought-stream filled my mind!
who cares that the sub-zero (celsius) temperature would delay my daily sauna? never mind that i’ll have to wear my winter gear just to step outside briefly…after all, such opportunity for reflection, daunting any mundane perceptions of life, overwhelming them with the glare of its beauty, with the genius of its allegory…well, its not every day one feels privvy to the mind of god!