Saturday, December 06, 2003

On The Inside Looking Out
Is it snowing where you are?

A flurrying mass of birds congregate at each window, pecking at the feeders, full beneath their tiny drifts. Red breasted and golden, woodbrown and jay blue, fluffed up and narrow against the wind and cold they come; they twitter faintly, sparsely, conserving their strength. A few feet away a band of mottled woodpeckers huddle, waiting for some unforeseen signal; perhaps twice an hour they will take their turn, chasing away their smaller brethren for a family turn at seed and suet.

Through the haze of falling white one can see why they have come to us. Their usual food sources are drifted under, their trees bowed with the weight of new snow and shaking in the stormwind. The air swirls with fat white flakes. In the distance, nearer hills, once clear, loom grey and teary over edge-blurred valleys and trees. More distant mountains, ordinarily less than ten minutes away by car, disappear completely. The world grows smaller.

After a November of light overnight powder, of dustings quickly melted away in the first hours of morning, Winter’s arrival is complete.

Farther afield, beyond the birds and their deserted drift-filled nests, the plows scrape against the patchwork road below our windows, prompting an annual game of musical chairs, in which neighbors move their cars back and forth, hoping for a driveway cleared: though no one has been able to figure out the criteria which plow drivers use to decide when and who, it seems safe to assume that a driveway clear of cars is much more likely to be cleared of snow as well.

Snow keeps falling, as is its wont. Curled up beneath white woolen blankets on the couch we watch the aftermath of this same storm’s path as is passes on the screen: New Jersey, New York, Boston. Total expected accumulation ranges from ten to fifteen inches, tapering off by morning.

The long walk to the dorm for duty tonight, and then back again in unplowed pathways and hardlyroads, will require a flashlight, a hat, and gloves, but if prepared for properly I can tell already: the walk in winter’s night storm will be a blessing, a meditation, and I’m looking forward to it, and to the noseglow midnight return, with that fine powdered joy that only comes with snow and season.

posted by boyhowdy | 1:27 PM |

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