One song that never fails to send a shiver through me and turn my thoughts inward is "Winter, Fire and Snow" by Anuna.
Sometimes it even makes me cry as I sing along.
In winter fire is beautiful
Beautiful like a song--
It's not just the sparse instrumentation and ethereal voices of the performers...
In winter snow is beautiful
All of the winter long...
...it is the sense of longing and loss that fills my heart with memories.
The day gets dark uneasily
Darker and darker still
And you are gone to Carnevale
And I feel the winter chill...
It's been nine years since that December afternoon that I held our gray-and-white cat Sparky as he gave his last gasps. Congestive heart failure had hit him hard and fast. He was not yet five years old.
He had come to live with us four years earlier, half a cat. Half-starved, half-frozen and half grown--a cat casually abandoned when he became an inconvenience.
He was never an inconvenience to us, the little cat with too-many toes and a heart too big for his body. In the too-brief time between his first winter and his last, Sparky had a home with warmth and food and a yard full of exciting things to explore. He knew love and gave love. I guess that's what we are all here for.
But he left us on a darkening December afternoon, marking all Decembers since with the sadness of his loss.
But you little son come safely home
Riding the tail of the wind
May you always come this safely home
In winter, fire and snow.
In my mind's eye, I see a little gray and white cat padding homeward in the early winter dusk, his over-sized paws leaving a neat line of stitches across the pale yard...
Come home to us in winter, Sparky.
Reside with us--if only in memory.
Cross-posted from A Quiet Life