The phone rings. I peek at my clock. Its bright red numbers flash 5:55. Rushed footsteps follow and someone picks up the phone. Only a true Vermonter would know who calls before 6 am on a school day. My brother squeals “snow day!” and I know falling back asleep is not an option. I throw open my curtain and see the bright white snow reflecting the January moonlight. I run downstairs. Awaiting me is a steaming bowl of oatmeal and a cup of cocoa with mini marshmallows. I bypass breakfast, throw on my boots and jacket to head outside, then hesitate. Despite my comfort with having a cemetery as my backyard, I rarely play there in the dark. But superstitions about the graveyard melt away like snow with warm maple syrup. Fresh flakes fall on my face, wetting it with their powerful chill. The snow’s silence in this morbid place makes the death that surrounds me both unsettling and oddly peaceful. Soon angels are scattered across the graveyard, their shapes lit by the fading moonlight. I search for the nearest pine tree, knowing the icicles will be sweet with sap. The wind picks up; the flakes bouncing off my cheeks now feel like frozen pebbles. The cold slowly creeps up my back, reaching like an icy hand. I turn to head inside. Tripping over a gravestone in front of me, I imagine the hand is real. Shuddering, the silence that follows reminds me how a once eerie graveyard can seem so innocent in the wintry snowfall.