“The weather has been flirting with us, but no real snow yet. I’m ready for it. If it’s going to be this cold, I want there to be snow on the ground.”
Though halfway across the country at Hillsdale college, my friend Emily captured my feelings precisely. Glancing out my window each morning I see the patches of snow in the hills. The foggy early-morning mirage of snow on the ground, the glistening frost shining back from the first rays of sun, lend to the false hope that today, there will be snow.
Each time I lift my eyes to the snow-covered hills, a single line from one of Merritt’s letters of several winters ago floats through my mind, like the lyric of a forgotten melody. “It snowed in the hills around us last night,” he wrote me, and I was instantly transported to that beautiful valley, wishing I were there.
Just a few years later, yet it seems much longer. Here I am cozily ensconced in our little pink house, Christmas lights around my window thanks to my indulgent husband, and those same snow-covered hills in view. They have lost none of the poetic beauty of his letter—they are rather more dear, having increased in loveliness when they became the view out of our own front window.
As I dusted our little home this morning, I spent much time in front of the long windowsill of our picture window. Fourteen picture frames sit on its ledge, chronicling our journey from friendship to love. As I picked up each frame to dust beneath it, memories flooded my heart, which was already overflowing with thankfulness for my dear husband this morning.
But somehow, remembering the past always makes the present seem more precious. No more nights lying awake missing him—he is here beside me. No more rushing to the mailbox in eager expectation of a letter—I hear his words of love from his lips many times each day. No more holidays spent longing for him beside me—we will spend each one together, for as long as we both shall live.
He may not always be here beside me—our own family is but one of those mourning the loss of loved ones who were here last holiday season—but I will treasure my husband’s love today, making memories to cherish for a time when I have not his hand to hold.