The spring equinox is tomorrow, and I am delighted because the sun has come back to North Carolina! So, today I want to share a short story I wrote about Jack Frost’s wife and her journey to the south. When Anna and I chatted about doing a winter photoshoot during Winter Storm Izzy, I didn’t quite have an entire storyline planned out. We had to put something together quickly before the snow melted, and Anna said she had the perfect dress. We braved the snow together near the Blue Ridge Parkway and created the images you see featured here.
Thankfully a client of mine, Shelby M., who happened to see a sneak peek photo before today, said she looked like Jack Frost’s Wife. After that, writing was easy! Without further ado, I give you my end of winter story, “Seeking the Sun.”
Seeking the Sun-Jack Frost's Wife
The winter had been long, bitter, and cold. Hills of snow had rolled themselves into thick blankets deep up to a man’s knees. Trees were coated with fractured diamonds of ice and glistened with dazzling brilliance. Icelyn, Jack Frost’s wife, had grown tired of the never-ending land of white. The frozen landscape had hardened her husband’s heart, so she decided to leave and seek the sun.
For 82 years, she had been the consort to the Ice King’s son. For the longest time, all had been well, and they had enjoyed their time together tucked away into the solitude of eternal winter.
When Jack Frost Met His Wife
Jack and Icelyn had met on a frosty winter morning in late November. She was walking home dejectedly after being told her career as a secretary had been eliminated. Finding work for a single woman in the 1940s was hard, and her position was gone in an instant. Her silent tears fell to the frozen earth and melted the newly formed hoar frost on the blades of grass in her path.
Jack instantly sensed the subtle thawing of his work and returned to see what had caused it. Then, he caught his first glimpse of Icelyn walking through the barren trees. He was mesmerized watching her breath create puffs of clouds in his wonderland. Sunlight danced along the tendrils of her hair floating in the breeze. She didn’t seem to mind that the world around her was cold, so he followed her.
To Jack, Icelyn appeared to be the sun itself coming down from the heavens to experience winter. Then he noticed her tears, and they confused him. Wasn’t the sun supposed to always be joyful?
Unable to help himself, he crept closer. After a moment, he could no longer bear her downtrodden state, so he sent a wisp of his magic to nip the edge of her nose.
With the sudden sensation of a cold finger tickling her nose, Icelyn stopped. Rubbing her nose, she looked around and noticed the beauty of the morning. With a heavy-laden sigh, she threw back her shawl and laughed.
“What am I crying for? It was just a job, and I can find another.”
Although she knew she needed to find one quickly in her heart because she was alone with no one to support her. Shaking off her innermost thoughts, Icelyn encouraged herself by laughing again and kept walking.
Muttering under her breath, she said, “Well, at least Jack Frost knows I am around.”
Jack Became Fascinated by Icelyn
Jack was stunned that she had mentioned him by name. So, each morning he returned to the path in the woods that she frequented to see her.
Several weeks went by, and he boldly would send her signs that he was there and that he did notice her.
Icelyn noticed too and began to look forward to her early morning treks down the mountain searching for work. Often she would talk out loud as if Jack walked by her side about her worries, dreams, and plans.
When He Created the Ice Gate
Finally, one morning Jack decided it was time to let Icelyn see him. As she began her journey down the mountainside, Jack sculpted an ornate fence and gate across her typical path.
He created an archway of icicles that shone like mirrors in the middle of the wall to place the gate. From the hoar frost, he drew up posts of feathery ice and adorned them with his most treasured patterns of snowflakes. And to finish his work, he laid out a dusting of the rarest blue snow from the artic on the path leading up to the gate and waited.
This morning was not as cold as the others had been in previous weeks, so Icelyn decided to place her shawl in her bag in case she might need it later that evening. After all, Spring was quickly approaching, and the daffodils had started poking through the ground near her windows.
It was getting cold. This was odd because typically, it was warmer as she came down into the valley. However, the farther down the path she ventured, the colder it became. Eventually, she stopped to pull her brown woolen shawl from her bag and place it around her shoulders. When she stooped to pick up her bag again, she froze.
The gate stood just beyond the bend before her in all its majesty. As she picked up her bag, she noticed the trail of blue snow leading up to the gate, and she gingerly walked on it.
Meeting Jack Frost
Wondering aloud, Icelyn exclaimed, “Who could have made this? It is a work of art! Am I dreaming?”
Tentatively she reached out her hand to touch the gate because she was afraid it might break. As her fingertips closed around its chilly handle, another hand closed over hers. She was struck with the most piercing aquamarine eyes when she lifted her head.
Smiling self-consciously, she said, “I knew you were real.”
He was tall, had hair the color of a raven’s wing, and a sharply structured jawline. Noticing the faintest scattering of a five-o-clock shadow on his chin, Icelyn asked, “You can grow a beard? But you are not human, are you?” At that, Jack laughed, and his voice sounded like a million ice crystals striking each other as one.
Jack Frost’s Heart Hardened
That had been the beginning, but that had been years ago, and time had changed him. Icelyn missed the man who had brought art up out of the earth’s water and frozen it in time for her delight.
His demands had increased as the Ice King’s health declined. She had done everything to keep him happy, but he had grown harsher and ill-tempered.
He was no longer her enigmatic Jack but a man who didn’t treasure her worth anymore. Instead, he would leave her for weeks at a time in their home. When years before, she would accompany him on his travels. When he was home, he acted like she was the last thing on his mind. She felt taken for granted, and the loneliness of it all impaled her heart until she could not handle it anymore.
So, Icelyn decided to gather a few belongings and follow the sun until she felt warmth run through her veins again. Perhaps Jack would follow, maybe he wouldn’t, but she could not live in isolation forever.
The spring equinox was just a few days away, and Icelyn longed for the green of the trees and kisses of sunlight on her cheeks. Her journey was long, and as she found places of early spring warmth, Jack in his jealously would send an arctic blast to tell her to come back. But she was not afraid because she knew his time was nearly up in the southern regions.
Icelyn needed a break to take care of herself and remind Jack that she was her own woman. The sun greeted her warmly and invited her to stay for a while. That was what she intended to do. If Jack really loved her, he could woo her heart back to him when Autumn began her visit to the south.
Until then, it was her time, and she would enjoy it.
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Do you enjoy storytelling photoshoots? You may want to look at last week’s post about the Literary Book Dress Shoot.
Thank You to Anna Sorrells for allowing me to photograph her in such harsh winter conditions. She is a trooper, and I always enjoy working with her. You can also see Anna in another shoot we did together where she portrayed a warrior queen; you can view it here. Anna is also a USMC Vet who has served our wonderful country.