By Patti Reiss Brooks
With windows shut, curtains drawn, and doors firmly latched against a long cold winter, no one heard her come on a breeze scented with sunshine and earth. She wore a fluttery light green dress that left her slim arms bare. Her slippered feet appeared to float over the hardened snow and in her wake birds, like bridesmaids, flew, singing their joy in following her.
If they had been looking they’d see how the drifts parted as she came down the mountain pass.
North Wind noticed and was not pleased with the ease she slipped in, softening his winter’s work. He reigned with a force that snapped trees as though they were twigs. Everything sought shelter and shivered when he howled. They cowered when he blustered. But this one … she didn’t lower her head in proper acquiesces when he blew.
He gathered himself up and prepared to send an arctic blast into the pass that would erase all her inroads. But the aura of sunshine and earth in the air that surrounded her accosted him. Its sweet powers taking his breath away. He retreated but followed her closely.
At the foot of the mountain, she glided across a clearing, coming to a river choked with great chunks of ice. Standing at the edge, she held her arms over the river. Sun leant its warming strength to her motions at the river and the ice gave way, sending the water rushing down river.
Even Sun was not able to resist her mystique and each passing day it rose earlier and lingered longer just to be in her presence. Several times North Wind shoved moisture filled clouds, roiling them into snow and ice, intent upon hurling the frigid mess to earth.
Smiling, this vision in the filmy green gown, raised her arms and beckoned the storm to her, gentling it into a soft, fragrant rain, yet one so powerful that the earth’s vast snow cover gave way. Soon a grateful Earth sent up the first tiny flowers, the very sight of them mighty enough to send North Wind on its way.
The morning came when, even though shuttered windows, they heard birds start their day. Instead of shivering under piles of blankets, they rose, throwing open windows and shielding their eyes against Sun which swept into windows, spreading the promise of Spring.
Photo from the Adirondack Information Center in Newcomb/file photo
About the author:
Patti Reiss Brooks was born in Lake Placid, graduated from St. Bernard’s in Saranac Lake and, Lake Placid Central and LeMoyne College (Syracuse). She first swam across Mirror Lake at age nine. As a teen, she rode her horse through the Adirondack Fire Trails and learned how to follow the round tin can markers of the CCC trails. That knowledge came handy when she and her dad crashed their single engine Stinson, into Moose Mt on a Halloween night and had to walk their way ten miles out of the woods following CCC markets.
She began her career as a horsewoman at nine when she gave ten cent pony rides at her dad’s business, Santa’s Workshop. She began her career as a professional writer at 16 when she sold an article to a national magazine … for $4. She wrote the essay here when a student at Lake Placid High School.
After marriage, Patti settled on a hundred-acre horse farm in Connecticut to raise and train three children and Morgan horses. She wrote for a number of equine magazines but it wasn’t until 2004 that her first novel, Mountain Shadows, was published (click here for an excerpt previously published in the Almanack). Since then she has published three novels and seven volumes of a picture tour guide to New England Morgan Farms. She is currently working on a children’s picture book. http://www.pattibrooksbooks.com/