When the white fluff flies, childhood memories are there to warm us

This is a bit of a break from my normal Life Downeast writing. Because on days such as these, when the snow is falling and the wind is blowing, so too, are the childhood memories rushing back to me in a syncopation of wonder, beauty and warmth. Sometimes we deserve the time to take a break and watch the weather simply happen, and remember when we were kids and the world was all white and brand new. This piece is titled, Snow. (of course)



Settle down, and take me in.


I am pure and beautiful.

Please walk on and quietly

take with you, a part of me.


Take your steps carefully;

do not miss the perfection

that lies above and under foot.


I know you.


Hearing your thoughts

with a beating heart, as you walk.

The cold and grace you feel, that is me.


We, together, take the steps

and journey as one, back to the day,

not knowing when it all started.


You know me as …

a blanket of white, sitting there, perfect and still, waiting to bring surprise to a child’s eyes in the morning daylight. No school and plenty to do, an alien world awaits the intrepid explorer, all bundled up within an inch of his life, to take that first step to the other side …

a world of trees and buildings, draped in white and muffled of all sound, held down by heavy white paperweights. The wind blows, determined to sculpt new shapes and pathways into a landscape that changes with potential for discovery every minute, in the eye of a child …

a maze of mounded hills carved by gloved hands and runny noses, settles and takes root, while coal studded giants with sticks for arms direct traffic, and balls of white fluff and ice fly by on streets blanketed in a layer of silvery blue wrappings, sprinkled here and there with pepper and spice …

a white crusted city park of ice and breath lies in wait for an army of scarf-shrouded vagabonds to temp fate on Flexible Flyers in a winter’s game of dare, to see who can get closest to the river without going into the icy drink. The river in its iced glaze of cream and sparkles sits and waits, and waits some more…

BDN File Photo, Spike Webb

BDN File Photo, Spike Webb

a quiet occupant in the room, just off the kitchen, with shoes and boots piled high in a soaked and sodden puddle, as I pale from white to clear, falling off in pieces, slowly smoldering on the floor, taking my leave today, knowing there will be another day, soon, when I return, to live and be one more time, with you.

Remember these times

as you pull the blankets up tight, at night.

And know now, when the white fluff flies,

childhood memories are the real warmth

on a cold winter’s day.

RJ Heller

About RJ Heller

Having arrived here from Pennsylvania over four years ago, there has been plenty to learn and even more to observe. This place is different, but I mean that in a good way. Born and raised in Pennsylvania, I am a college graduate with a teaching degree, a business founder and seller, and a father of two children with my wife Stephanie; life has been full and somewhat adventurous, but finding Maine remains a high watermark in my life.