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    Posted February 14, 2014 by
    mifflinburg, Pennsylvania
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Wintry weather 2014

    Snowy Solitude

    It’s other-worldly, complete white, save for the bare trees and branches fighting for recognition against the bright expanse. There’s something peaceful about trudging through a foot of snow amidst the hardwoods and evergreens of the Pennsylvania countryside. As the wind howls through the ravine, I reach my destination. While nothing much to look at, this tiny hut, tucked back into the woods, affords a sense of privacy, a unique calm and sense of warm isolation in this beautiful landscape.

    The accumulated snow and hardened earth must be chipped away until I can open the door just enough to squeeze through. This old and rustic converted shelter affords an unadulterated view of the hill on which it sits and the ravine below. It’s not much, just a fiberglass shell with an old, wooden chair, only large enough for an adult and young child. Perhaps a small stove would be a nice touch. But, it’s my place, my solace from the world outside.

    While I sit scrawling in a leather-bound notebook as aromatic clouds of smoke swirl from my briar pipe, I can’t help but feel at peace with the world; at peace with myself. Here I am hidden; here I have naught to disturb me but the crackling of my pipe, the snow, as it turns to ice, pelting the glass windows, and the mighty wind speaking its voice to all who will listen. It’s almost...majestic...the only experience more regal is the sight of a lone buck, bent against the wind, leaving his tracks across the frozen stream in the ravine below.

    But I am not long for this solitude. The world of men beckons me return. Perchance, I could visit again, drawn by its organic lure. Yet, should that day never come, my life will be no less full.
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