The package rested on the clean snow on my small front porch. Boot tracks from the postman looked fresh; I don’t know how I missed hearing the gravelly whir of his diesel truck engine when he pulled up. I looked through the small pane of glass in my front door, up and down the street, but I only had a shallow angle to view things. Tufted clouds hung suspended from the sky above and the air outside seemed gray, the thin transparent color of cold. No cars moved on the street. No one ever walked here in winter.
It was cold outside. I hadn’t picked up the mail in three days. I sniffled and wiped my nose, then I opened the door, took two steps forward and kicked the cardboard box back toward the threshold. There was six inches of snow outside, just like the weather lady on TV predicted.
From behind the glass in my front door, I had only seen the wind, but I could hear it now. The wind doesn’t whistle like they write in storybooks. It races past you like spirits and you can’t catch it, can’t catch them. I listened to the wind play as I stood on my front porch and I could see a depth to the individual clouds better now that I stood outside. I hadn’t been outside in three days, not since the temperature dropped and snow began to fall. I didn’t care about the mail. But a package? Might be something, I said to myself. This was as close to feeling like Christmas coming as it was ever going to get in my old age… .