Pages from Deirdre’s Journal

I go for a winter walk this evening. I always feel more alive in the snow; there is something so pure, serene, and yet invigorating all at once. I climb down the stairs (quite literally, as they are covered in thick snow) and am startled by the silence. I suppose that it makes sense that the world is quiet in the snow: there are fewer people out, less traffic, and even the snow itself absorbs sound. Even so, for me there is something spiritual, elemental about this silence – as though time has stopped and the earth and sky blend in a brilliant white light that hushes the thrum of the world for a moment. As I walk along the road, I wonder what it must have looked like a hundred years ago. I imagine it might have been something like this . . . a valley filled with ice and snow, scattered homes kept bright and warm with fires and candles, distant laughter of children using makeshift sleds to conquer the hills. It gives me a sense of the continuity of the world. Men and women still walk in the snow, charmed by the innocence and romance that energizes the air. Children still bury themselves in the magic the snow brings with it, entertaining themselves endlessly with snowball fights, building forts and lopsided and snowmen. And here I walk; I could belong to any century, quiet in thought and filled with tranquility and timelessness. The sound of the unplowed road crunching beneath my shuffling feet echoes through the open fields and reverberates in my own hearing; I could not ask for more than this open road before me, and my own footprints, alone, deep in the snow behind. 




“yellow tulip” 

on my belly

flat against the upward swing

knees pressed solidly against stiff, soft earth, now pinching, now caressing, now a cushion with each twitch of my nervous limbs.

eyes ahead, three eyes waiting for the right moment for the light to strike

to frame the symmetry of the open bud

proudly stretched above a sea of green.

this close, my breath tickling its stem

spring is obvious

green vivant outstretched life

burning into the lens the image of rebirth.

and now the cloud shifts and I am blinded by the matching glow of the bud before me.

never an admirer of tulips – too hothouse, too cultivated

belonging in bright yellow kitchens with tired mothers and loud pranks, those reluctant eaters.

not here, in this proud earth where no spade probed

only fingers

inquisitive and forceful sliding deep into soil.  some triumph of the soil brings forth this bright bud, a laughter, a half-smile to put those smug gardeners in their place.  good mother, I kneel and stare and smile; the glow is perfect and my third eye snaps. I dare not pick the bud, but I take it home to bring it forth again in the dark.




Deirdre Robertson is an English/Psychology double major at Shepherd University.

“American Transcendentalism: An Online Travel Guide” was produced by students in ENGL 446, American Transcendentalism, and ENGL 447, American Literature and the Prominence of Place: A Travel Practicum. These courses were team-taught in the Department of English at Shepherd College (now Shepherd University), Shepherdstown, West Virginia, in Spring 2002 by Dr. Patricia Dwyer and Dr. Linda Tate. For more information on the course and the web project, visit “About This Site.” © 2003 Linda Tate.