Technically, it was short of the 35 MPH needed for the designation of blizzard. Heard official reports mentioning 17 inches, even though I was standing in snow up to my knees, measuring 23 inches. The communications console reported similar anecdotes across the local galactics.

The northern adventurers might as well scoff at us amateurs just below the mason-dixon line. I understand; got a few stories of wandering around at the snowblind levels fighting yetigers with a ski pole up in them thar latitudes. Everybody’s got it worse off somewhere. At least the snow up there forces the Kling-ons to use chains on their disruptors.

Spent long hours in the dark watching the snow fall, with Frankie perched beside me.  For the beings in the chill depths of nothingness, it’s like the rains coming in spring on the wild plains of Africa. The neurotic adaptations of the mindless and the artificial satisfactions of the consumed are swept away by a blinding flood, and the dazzling elemental currents of the unknown may dance in mystery–safe from unclean eyes and shriveled thinking.

The drifts rise high enough for strange things to paddle by, in direct proportion to the amount of effort needed by snivelized coat-and-boot astronauts to tread the snowfall. If two inches of water is dangerous, what might traverse two feet of accumulation? One must listen carefully, between the breaths of snowy quiet and the biting snap of winter wolf’s breath across your unprotected face.

I plunge forward into a drift, the dry crystals sticking to my face and blazing white hot. Brushing off the stinging nettles as they burn my face raw, the cold invades my cheap spacesuit like an inviting alien force. I lay back and let the flakes crackle against me like hundreds of tiny asteroids. A moment’s intention and I’m beamed aboard the honeycomb hideout, safe behind life support systems and hot cocoa immunizations.

Play until you’re tired and cold and dragging. This state of exhausted euphoria is one children are familiar with; Mine’s tempered with the seasoning of adaptation patterns. We forget the previous state, still living because we have a manual override.

A whispering cuts through the quiet cold, telling me I must be like a crocodile.  Silent, prowling, unseen, existing in the winter monsoon where another life force dwells. I see pictures and diagrams as if watching the unrolling from a long papyrus–see, it is like this; use internal strength like so, leap across hidden crevices and through dark corners untraveled like this.

Winter is here. I return to my human existence, welcomed by Frankie who insists on making the biscuits on my cold but warming form swathed in blankets. I’ll tell her all about it during my nap.  I watch the snow on my hanging clothes melt in the light of consciousness as K makes some cocoa.

The last lantern-bearer gone and passing into slumber to the sound of purring, the wintery wonders surge like a noiseless wave in the darkness of falling snow. The rains have come, the drought is ended.