Inexplicable is my love for snow. Some say it is because I grew up in Missouri, so snow and snow play are a big part of my childhood memories. Others, though, who grew up in cold wintry places are of contrary thinking, proclaiming that for years they had enough of that kind of weather and are happy to live in southern California, or similar place, where they are done with such activities. Why do I love snow? Why do I love storms, even lightning and thunder and pounding rain and sleet and hail? though always with the thought that no one be hurt, and that no property be damaged. Is it merely the drama of a storm? Could it be that my subconscious considers the threat of danger and couples this with the assurance of shelter, fire and food, and that attracts me?
Perhaps, though, my love of snow is for the sheer beauty of falling downy flakes as they fuse to cover the earth and tree branches and rooftops. A miracle is snow, and although comprehension eludes me, I am told that no two flakes are alike. Amazing, a wonder from God, for over time, multiplied trillions of snowflakes have fallen. And none are the same? A quiet waltz is the coming, except that is not always so, for some times when I open the glass, I hear a faint sizzling sound.
Robert Frost shared my infatuation with snow, for he writes of stopping on a snowy evening as, on a dark road, he travels with a horse-drawn carriage. He watches as snow fills a meadow.
Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening
Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.
He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.
The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
Clouds moving over the lake gave early promise to the snow forecast. I was eager and set up a couple of elements to show the progress through the day. The first flakes came just before 10:00 as I spoke on the phone with Rebecca.
Jerry likes snow, too, although he is not as enthusiastic as I am about it, but he did agree to go for a walk after it had been snowing hard for about an hour. We had decided to invite Mary to join us for a simple dinner of pinto beans cooked with a ham hock, and freshly baked cornbread, so, using snow-ski poles to help with balance, he went over to tell her we would be eating about 5:00. (Turned out to be stubborn beans, so it was after 6:00 when we finally ate. :))
It was snowing hard, and I was struggling to take pictures, while at the same time trying to keep my camera from becoming excessively wet.
Finally, the fog and snow mixed so that from our windows it was a whiteout. Later in the day, for a few minutes, the air cleared and I caught a quick view of the houses and trees across the lake–now gloriously decked in white. Then the skies closed again.
In the evening Mary came for dinner. We ate, sat by the fire, talked and laughed, then it was time for her to go. She pulled on her boots, we encouraged her to be careful, and watched as she crossed the street to her little place.
It had stopped snowing quite a while before we went to our bedroom for the night. Lying in bed, I listened for wind, wished for more snow, and imagined the ermine fairyland that might greet me in the morning when I pulled the living room drapes.