Snowy mornings have a special kind of quiet. Grey clouds above roll along with only the lonesome sounds of a wintery breeze pushing them forward. Standing near a field or line of bushes, little rustle is heard -- just the silence of of a new snowfall. As snow fall covers the ground and sticks to the roads, even the passing cars drift by silently.
It's a snowy winter morning along Lines West, the location is Rosalia, WA. The old tilted rectangle of America's Resourceful Railroad still clings to the bridge side -- just barely. Located on the south side of the old structure, it has been subject to direct sun for many many years and they show. Just out of frame to the left is the old electrified interurban from Colfax. At one time Rosalia hosted the transcontinental Milwaukee Road, the electrified Great Northern (who purchased the interurban), and the Northern Pacific line from Spokane to Lewiston. The three big northwest players all in one small town, out amongst the hills of Palouse country.
But the year is 2004, not 1934, and the sights and sounds of interurban travel and transcon freights are matched in silence only by the fresh snow fall. The NP line was in place, but only as far as Moscow, ID when this photo was taken. Today, it ends at the Idaho border. Times change, but the quiet of fresh snow and its tranquility in places like this seem unchanged.
Even though snow and Christmas seem tied inexorably together in Western culture, Peace and tranquility don't always seem to play an important role. The noise of shopping mall parking lots and scream of continuous entertainment do a fair job blocking quiet and thoughtfulness. But on that snowy December morning five years ago, surrounded by history and the deep quiet of a snow storm, tranquility and quiet seemed so very important.
May you find some Peace and quiet of your own this holiday. Merry Christmas.