Monday, January 7, 2008

Snow Dance

The snow started earlier this afternoon and as I watched the sky turn from white to gray, from distant to very near and very low, I couldn't help but think that snow with Christmas is like the empty echo of a great big house without any furniture. It may be beautiful but it feels hollow and cold. As I watched the big flakes blot out the color of the cars in the parking lot, then the patches of grass which had only just made it through the layers of ice, then the sidewalks, I wondered if I today's snow would've felt better with a layer of Christmas behind it, the glow of all those lights on its surfaces, buried under the covered branches. It'll be a bear to walk in, I thought feeling cold already. And I'm sure the sidewalks will be a mess. I felt myself get old in a matter of moments and turned back to the day without much glee.

But when I got home and discovered Duncan sitting in the bedroom window, his face practically adhered to the glass, his tongue lolling out and his tail thumping against the pillows, I knew he'd provide the warmth and spirit that January–such a poor replacement for December–lacks.

It took some time changing from my grown-up clothes into my snow clothes, and he waited patiently, without his usual chirping and nervous prancing back and forth in front of me, sometimes knocking the boot from my hand. He watched me, his tail beating against the door until I was up, coated and gloved and ready to go. And then there was no stopping him. Barely had we crossed into the yard before he was rolling and galloping, spinning in circles and snorting.

The park was mostly pristine, the new snow filling in the cracks and naked spots of the weekend's melt. It's always a bit of a shame to mar a clean surface like that, but watching Duncan cavort is just as pleasing to the eye as a smooth, powder plain. He is to snow as Nijinsky was to dance. Watching him is like watching an artist create, the way he tears up a field, burying his face in it as he moves, kicking up wakes of powder both in front of and behind him. His leaps are huge and he twists in the air, his tail elongating and spinning his body in great red circles. He springs straight up and comes down in a crouch, ready to go again. The snow seems to part before him, eager to avoid his churning feet. He is a virtuoso and watching him tonight filled me with joy, erasing my misgivings.

Snow does not need Christmas to be magical, it needs only friendship.


CJ said...

Wonderfully said Duncan. I really enjoy reading about and seeing the pics of Suncan and the snow. Mine would LOVE to be in the snow. Instead I sit here in our humidity and read of your exploits.

Just glimpsed your profile. Loved Pocatello while driving through on my way to a fiddle fest in Weiser. Isn't there like a small water park not far from there rather isolated? But like I said I was just driving through. ;)

Curt Rogers said...


And here I am, wishing I could be done with the stuff and settle into a nice reasonable night, perhaps fall asleep with the windows open, not feeling at all guilty about my need to run the heat to fend off the cold. I'm not much of a winter person so perhaps I've romanticized the snow a bit more I normally would. I'd take a nice sunny afternoon any day.

I believe the place you're referring to is Downey, Idaho, where they have a big pool and a water slide. To call it a water park is awfully generous, but you're right, it is out in the middle of no where, which somehow beckons to Utahans and Idahoans like an oasis.