Outside, the cold ground meets the mist and coats the earth and plants with frost. Grass flowers present as delicate sculptures and sparkle with mirth, turning slowly to and fro in the scant wind. A frozen lilac hides its promise from the wiles of winter, protected within a damp icy blanket and staid among its fellows.
Today's gift of Christmas is the very definition of "hoarfrost," a maladroit moniker for the beauty it reveals. Hoarfrost has its origins in Middle English and Old Norse from "hoary," something gray or white with age. Uttering the name, one hears the low ancient mutters behind the name; old, decrepit, tatty, cold. The synonym "rime" is no improvement, too near its rhymes of grime and crime to suggest any positive enhancement of the dreary winter world.
For future use, I'm going to suggest the word "mistglove" as an improved name for this natural phenomenon. As I carry no ancient memories of predatory cave bears or saber-toothed tigers, the term "mist" holds only peaceful and comforting connotations, and "glove" amplifies that warm and protective image, making me just a calm and comforted ProfessorRoush on this Christmas morning. Yes, "mistglove" it shall be.
And a very Merry Christmas to all, mistgloved or not wherever you may be!