It was late in the evening when Pamela Gausón woke with a slight chill. It was not like the night not too long ago, when she had woken up in a cold sweat. No, this night she woke slowly, as if the cold were an affectionate ice beast nudging her away.
Pamela opened her eyes and rose out of bed. Something was different than any other night. The very molecules in the air seemed to be visible, frozen into a transient, swirling mist.
She reached out, grabbed her robe, and slipped it on. Her feet curled as they hit the floor. It felt like ice. She darted, leaped, over to her worn-out shoes. Now, fully dressed, she ventured out into the living room.
The room was empty. The mist was less visible now, melted into oblivion by the innate and eternal warmth of the room.
She looked about.
“Master Smoggit?” she said.
No one replied. She kept on walking, proceeding with reticent eagerness to the front door. The doorknob was frigid to the touch. It almost burned her hand to pry it open, but it was a good burn, and well worth the effort. She turned the knob and opened the door.
Outside, in the middle of the clearing, sat Master Smoggit, bathed in the ethereal light of the world’s twin moons. He hummed a tune of unknown origin, while snow danced about him. The surrounding evergreens, now glazed with frost, swayed to the the tune.
She gazed out upon the scene and gasped in amazement.
“Evening, Pamela,” he said, softly, with his eyes closed.
She approached him, making her footsteps as light as possible so as not to intrude upon the beatific scene.
“This is amazing, Master Smoggit. Your finest work yet. You’ll have to teach me this spell.”
He opened his eyes and patted the dirt beside him. She came and sat down.
“There is no magic here, other than that inherent in nature.”
“The song, though…” she countered.
“Is an ancient one, but more of a conversational piece than anything. It reminds the snow of the day it was born, just as there are those who dance to remind the rain of the same thing. There are many who imagine the earth to be daft and soul-less, but any gardener knows that it is as responsive as you and me, with a character and life of its own. When we both to listen, we can hear it. When we bother to love it, we can delight in watching it grow.”
“Could you teach me this song, so that I might join in the conversation?”
“I’d be happy to,” he said.
Smoggit thus proceeded to teach her strange words and tunes, foreign to her usual linguistic and musical sensibilities. At first, she judged them, but then she remembered that these words and notes, the perplexing phrasings of both, were of old, and everything she knew was new. So, she listened and she learned, and the snow swirled around her all the while, and the universe beamed with ecstatic light.
As she learned, as she sang, she could feel the world responding, which compelled her to try even harder to learn all she could. When finally she picked up even the smallest phrase (the song, being so ancient, was quite long, after all), and began to sing it with him, the Universe seemed to explode with joy. In that moment, they were one: with each other and in nature.
They sat together in the elements, singing in perfect harmony. After a while, she began hearing the world singing back: every single snowflake, an angelic soprano; every tree, a resounding bass. The symphony of the cosmos was not played on any instrument outside of themselves, but was strummed within; and the music, being the quixotic science that it is, was both personal and universal, a mixture of exacting truth and exotic wonder. Pamela could not get enough of it.
The next morning, she woke up, not remembering if she had ever went to bed. Smoggit was making breakfast, as usual. She was about to ask him if it had all been a dream; but as she approached, she could hear him humming the tune. Perhaps, it had been a dream; but if a dream, it had been one they had had in concert with one another: a communal dream, a heightened awareness, one which gave them a deeper appreciation of each other and the world around them. That was a most splendid dream, indeed.