If there is such a thing as a mutable eternity, it is snow falling in the woods. I am thinking of a windless, steady plummeting. Nothing is moving except for snowflakes. You can hear the snow faintly ticking on the pine needle branches. You can hear it descending–a soft sift of air….Every surface receives the snow in its way. A large, fallen curled maple leaf collects the snow in its center. A boulder’s stored heat resists the snow at first, then its surface turns wet as if it were raining, and then, with un-boulderlike delicacy, a thin frizz accumulates. On top of the garden gate a fragile white skein begins to perch. Little, almost derby-like hats grow on the garden fence posts. The mown grass around the house fills in gradually. The stiff, frozen blades seem like little heights. Then the snow, as it mounts, receives itself. Another landscape is created, and for months we live in that landscape.
We don’t live in the woods, but close enough. It’s the silence, how the snow muffles everything, except for itself–soft sift of air—
And then, once the snow has stopped & the cleanup completed, the cold clobbers you day after day, and that landscape is like a taunt, until it seems as though you’ll never be warm again.
It’s only January 6, and yet we’ve already had more snow than we had all last winter. Can you tell I’m ready for spring?