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14 December 2012

Jack Frost!

I was thinking about him last night as I laid in bed, falling asleep. He has a prominent role in this year's Christmas-classic-to-be, The Rise of the Guardians. Great movie, by the way. I loved it. Very pagan-y, not a madonna to be seen in the whole thing, and Jack Frost - one of my favorites - had a starring role. What's not to love? Oh, and it was pretty funny. Jack Frost's epiphany could have been written a bit better, I thought, but hey - that's really the only moment I didn't fully enjoy. And it was a rather short moment.

Side note: I was impressed with how they explained the Tooth Fairy. I won't spoil it, but yeah, that was cool.

So anyway. Movie critique aside, what really excited me was seeing my little Bear (my child) get excited about Jack Frost. See, Jack Frost was my favorite of the big legends when I was growing up. Santa was cool, but I caught my mom in that cover-up pretty early (something I've managed to successfully avoid with Bear, thank goodness), so Santa wasn't all that. Jack Frost, on the other hand, left beautiful works of art on my window every morning, all winter long. And really, that wasn't until I was a teenager.

See, when I was a kid I lived with my mom, and we always had heat in the house. So even though we lived in upstate New York, I'd only see the frost on the windows when I woke early, which wasn't all that often. But when I was a teenager I lived with my dad, and my bedroom didn't have heat. It would have if I'd left my bedroom door open, but I didn't. I needed the seclusion more than the heat. I needed my bedroom to be my refuge - I thought of it as my cave, my own space where I couldn't be hurt. It's where I went to heal when I was wounded. Honestly, in hindsight I realize it wasn't much different than my dogs running to their kennel when they're in trouble. Only, I was in trouble all the time. Anyway, my room was freaking cold.

I'd pile up in my blankets, creating a tent of warmth, and listen to music while I stared out the window. My room was in the corner of the house, and the window looked out over the lakes and hills below us. The wind was louder in my room than in any other room of the house, and I loved it. I had positioned my bed so that the foot was next to the window. My desk was at the foot of my bed, which served as my chair if I felt like sitting there. I didn't sit there much, though, because my desk was more of a hidey-hole for all my little trinkets, and the top of the desk was dominated by my stereo. (Which, by the way, had two tape players in it. Ha!)

When it was really cold, which was pretty much all winter, I would sleep with my head in the corner of the room and my feet near the window, with extra blankets over my feet because the window wasn't really sealed all that well. Or maybe the seal was just overwhelmed by the cold. I don't know. Anyway, the extra blankets helped. In the deepest parts of winter, I would sleep with the next day's clothes in the bed next to me, so they would be warm when I put them on the next morning. I'd bring my pillow under the blankets with me, and craft a blankety tunnel from my face to the fresh air, with a curve to soften the cold. In that little den-within-a-cave, I slept quite well.

Mornings were always good, despite my insomnia and my preference for sleeping in. In the morning, the house was quiet (nobody else was a morning person, either), and my window was painted with frost. I'd tunnel to the foot of my bed and lift the blankets just enough to peek out and admire the artwork. Then I'd peek over the frost to check on our cows, in the field just below. Sometimes I'd see our horses, but they usually preferred to hang out in the lower tree line, where it was a bit warmer and a bit too far for me to see clearly. Then I'd lay there, holed up in my little den, and listen to music.

I thought about Jack Frost a lot, then.

Since leaving New York, I haven't had much cause to think of him. I hadn't forgotten - I still thought of him every time I did see frost, but that wasn't very often. I live in Arizona, now. I'm a big fan of being warm pretty much all year, but I do miss Jack Frost. I don't miss the cold, or the snow, just the beautiful filigrees on my windows in the morning. Of course, you can't have one without the others.

The Guardians movie brought Jack Frost back to the forefront of my thoughts, and I'm delighted that my little Bear thought Jack Frost was "so cool."

Last night, several hours before I went to bed, I was grumbling about the clouds that had rolled in right before sunset, because I was going to miss out on the meteor shower. "The first time in weeks that we've had clouds, and it's the night of the meteor shower. Figures." My mother called me from Iowa to tell me that she just saw the most awesome meteor, and I should go outside to watch the shower. "Yeah, thanks Mom. I'm appropriately envious now." Then it started raining. I grumbled some more because it was just downright cold (for southern Arizona).

I didn't sleep well last night. I fell asleep quickly enough, but I woke at 4am, and never got completely back to sleep. I dozed on and off, noticing the clock at 5-something, 6-something, and a few more times before 8-something, when my dogs decided I was awake enough to feed them. I really was awake by then, although I did not want to get out of bed. (Nice warm bed. Soft bed. Ahhhhhhh.) I got up anyway, to let the little bouncing Bella dog outside. My old boxer dog, Roxy, refused to got outside - too damn cold and she hadn't had her breakfast yet. As I thought about getting Roxy's jacket out for her (she's thin-skinned and short-haired, and adamantly anti-cold), I turned to look out the door, to see where Bella had gone... and there was frost on the windows of my truck. Filigrees, tender little ferns of frost.

It made my heart happy.

Good to see you again, Jack.

And now, as I finish this post, I'm looking out the window next to my desk at the front of my house, and I see that my truck's windows are clear, but there's snow falling from the sky. Until next time, Jack. Be well.

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