I remember nights.
They were present too quickly, but the quiet was welcomed. I remember snow on evergreen boughs, the imaginary tinkling noises from each flake as it drifted down.
I remember turning all the lamps off and lighting candles instead in my window, peering out at the stillness. It became a whole different world then, something untouched and mysterious. It was like nothing else existed past our driveway, and the mountain in our backyard was a steady slope into clouds.
Something on piano was playing downstairs around now, the sound echoing up the stairs and under the crack in my door. The abrupt jingle of bells would follow as my parents (and soon to be myself) darted around the house bedecking it with baubles.
In this semi-silence I would wrap my presents. I would take care to hide them under anything and everything that was in my room. There was no shortage of cover. And when I would finish I would stare out the window again. More snow would have fallen. I would see a squirrel dart into my vision, pounce about looking for something, then dart away and in short order its tiny tracks would be covered.
Nothing existed past the house.
Later after dinner and cocoa, I would have a nest of blankets and a slew of friendly faces to guard me in my sleep. The comforting clutter of me was like a mantle of office and in this Wintery bedchamber I was of course, the Queen.
The moon outside was bright, so I could still watch the snow come down from my nest. I imagined all sorts of things; ice monsters throwing snow balls, fairies leaping snowflakes, my house the smoldering cottage with a radiating warmth like a beacon to them all. I imagined them climbing about the place, peeking in the windows, rolling around the lawn and building snow dragons.
But never to be seen. I used to know that if I just looked a bit harder I could see them. If I believed harder. If I just didn't think about it as much it would be crystal clear to me.
I would fall asleep thinking that, in that house, on those magical nights. It was a good solitude, a peaceful thoughtful sleep. It only looked like I was alone because nothing else could be seen.
There may have been nothing past the driveway, but that was because we had all gone to someplace else.
I would like it to snow now, I think.