If the fog comes on little cat feet, this snow is coming on a whirligig. I watch it from my kitchen window. Is the wind from the north, south, east or west? Yes. Some of the snow is falling up. The whole of it wants order.
This is not last week’s wall of white but rather gravity-resistant polkadots cavorting mid-air. I can see some clearly enough to imagine feathers; they are the ones that rock lazily back and forth on their vagrant way.
Some fall to rooftops, where they gather in the shingle edges and slowly build a giant grid, neatly right-angled. They gather also in my neighbor’s precise mowing lines, like so many tiny landing strips. In the street, the snow is fingerpaint to an Ansel Adams wind, swirling the white in curls and flourishes, not covering the blacktop but reveling in the contrasts.
A few days ago, the temperature hovered at 50. Robins! Phlox! How embarrassed they must be now: that was not the coming of spring; it was just cruel scam. The green of the emergent phlox was as welcome as the robin red in the bony crabapple tree, but neither belonged.
This is, as the song says, “the bleak mid-winter.” A world of buff and dun, huddled, withdrawn. I like it. It is still my preferred half of the year. Unenthusiastic about dark and cold, I nonetheless love the enforced quiet of this season, its inwardness, its pledge to sustain unseen life. Snow insulates, I am told, so growth can resume.
Gladly slowed, I hold tight to winter’s cloak and mitten-fumble for words.