Right now I am thinking of sitting behind you in the car on a frosty night the cooler digging into my side my face cooling on the window glass my puffy coat makes swishing noises in the quiet car that blot out Harvest’s harmonica and the saw-mill snores of dad in the front seat and the soft little snuffles my brother makes beside me curled up against his own particular pillow his breath too frosting on the glass we are climbing the air thinning and the trees creaking silent in the wind it is so cold you can see every star between the peaks of the baby Catskills around us and the valleys of trees that drop sharply to our left on the other side of the thin barrier that guards our tiny switchback roads.
“Look,” you say and the car slows slightly “on the right. Is the waterfall frozen?”
I look the road is bending sharply and in its crease there is a small rocky crevice over which ice flow has frozen in white and moon-blue that gleam against the dark still night and the black pine trees around us.
“Yes.” I lean over Daniel to better see the icicles fat as tree branches and the flow of water in motion trapped in the cold night it is beautiful it glows like a cave filled with quartz we once visited with the dog tucked into the front of your jacket and only her tiny white head peeking out.
“Wow,” I add and it’s not enough but that’s all I’ve got you nod and get back to watching the sharp turns of the road and slowly we ascend beyond the waterfall to a cliff where the world falls away and winter is king I fidget and tuck my feet in tighter and reach for the bag of doritos we only ever eat in car trips they make a crunching sound and drop orange crumbs on the seat around me as you switch from Harvest to Rumours and the mountains grow larger and fill with quiet myths and the silent music of the stars.