Community Stories

Winter Light Show - Writes of Winter

February 07, 2024

The Red Deer Arts Council and The City of Red Deer are pleased to announce the winners of the Writes of Winter contest!

We invited Red Deer writers of all ages to share with us a tale of winter and/or the holiday season in Red Deer, under either Poetry, Short Story (Fiction) or Short Story (Creative Non-Fiction) categories.

Winner - Creative Fiction

Winter Light Show - by Geoff Parker

First light in deep December
is never in a rush to illuminate
our city, here in the valley of the Red Deer River.
It is patient, seemingly content to snooze 
just a bit longer. 
Eventually, it rewards me
when it creeps over the Balmoral Hills
creating a surreal morning mural.
Hues of pink and purple slowly spread
across the horizon.
The pallet intensifies revealing a jaw-dropping swath 
of fiery orange and red. 
A soul warming spectacle
even on the most frigid of mornings. 

Heartened by this brief but scintillating
celestial show,
I join my wife and Labrador
for our daily walk on the escarpment trails.
Despite its low position in the sky, 
the sun offers valiant rays and beams
that intertwine with the branches of
still pines and slumbering aspens. 
These slanted gifts of light dance and play 
creating a stunning display 
with a local soundtrack -  the cries and calls of
magpies, chickadees and downies.

I cherish the gift of winter light,
short lived but mighty. 
It keeps the cold at bay.
It whispers promises of spring.
It brings me simple and constant joy. 

And on long, dark winter nights,
comforted by a crackling fire,
I don’t curse the cold…
I anticipate the magic of another morning mural.