My brother, where you’ve gone, is their snow there? Can you sit at the kitchen table and watch the mid-afternoon sun embrace the elegance of the snowflakes as they float fleetingly past the sprigs of cedar? Can you pull on your boots and run breathless into the exhilarating cold air and make snow angels on the ground? Can you lace up your skates and listen to the deliberate motions of metal slicing ice to make intricate circles and figure-eights? Can you watch the snowflakes fall from the clouds and feel their subtle hint of cold when they reach your tongue?
My brother, where you’ve gone, are their stars there? Can you stroll down the path, hand in hand with someone you deeply care about and take a moment to glance up at the quarter moon looking down on your happiness from a cloud covered sky? Can you pause for a moment before you open the front door to turn towards the few stars that the city lets you see? Do you feel the ache for wilderness like I do, when you notice how the streetlights stop you from seeing the shining starlight, and you wish to be up north where you can lay on your back in the middle of a frozen lake blanketed by stars and twinkling speckles of snow?
My brother, where you’ve gone, are their lakes and rivers for swimming? Can you run recklessly off the end of a dock and feel the rush of cold spring water envelop your body? Are their pools where you can swim when its cold outside? Can you swim lengths back and forth until your energy’s gone, but your body is full of satisfaction at the nature of it all?
My brother, where you’ve gone, are there trees? Are their leaves to pirouette to the ground in beautiful colours and elegant trunks to stand surely as strong, soulful shadows against the backdrop of a dreary winter sky? Are there weeping willows by the river bank for you to dance with?
My brother, how should I answer my own questions and attempt to comfort that which tears at my heart? Should I remind myself that heaven is not part of my own belief system and let my logical scientific side bring me to more tears when I think that there is nothing left of you except ashes?
Or, Aaron, my brother, should I stretch myself to see the bittersweetness of the life’s mystery? Should I learn to let myself slowly accept that your spirit is still here with me on this earth? And that all I have been asking of you is true because I have been describing what is meaningful to me as a living human, and perhaps your spirit is here with me?
My brother, if only you had not left me. Then we could still be watching the snowflakes together.