After long weeks of rain and cloud there came
A brilliant dawn, revealing sudden snow
Which silently had fallen in the night.
At my age snow is beautiful, but dread
With fear of falls: shovelling too hard a task.
That morning I set out to test the paths,
Walking through dazzling snow and blinding sun,
Cautiously treading in the treacherous ways.
Meanwhile the sunshine quickly cleared the trees
Of that white burden that had graced each bough.
Turning for home, with what delight I saw
A birch tree, tall and bathed in double light,
Glowing dull gold with rosy undertone.
That light, that colour I had never seen
In all my many winters on this earth;
A precious gift to me, of lasting worth.