Saturday, November 29, 2008

Second Snow

It is the sound I love most about the snow, the way, from inside, bundled up on the couch, the world gets very quiet on the other side of the window and only reveals itself with the soft slice of the occasional tire crushing over it, the way trees somehow catch the music of its falling and swallow it, a sound like a melody rising up from some deep belly.

We walked early in its falling last night, before it got too deep but well after the street lamps reflected orange off everything it covered. Duncan played rapturously, caught up in the memory of the stuff on his nose, batting his big brows, catching and melting against his soft eyelids. He was reluctant to come back inside so I promised there would be more for him in the morning. Still, while I pulled the blanket over me he sat guard in front of the window and watched it come down, his tail moving softly against the warm carpet every now and then, a release of the joy which built with each settling flake.

The morning was bright, and as promised, I took him out to gallop as madly as he wanted, drive big mounds of the stuff before him, spinning wildly, his back legs driving beneath him. His earliest days with us started in the snow when he was so small he sunk deep, with only his nose visible above the white. He ambled through it, driven forward by a sense of exploration and discovery, only whining when he got lost and couldn't find his way back to our ankles, planted firmly only a few feet away. Now, of course, he stands above the snow most of the time, and his vantage couldn't make him happier. Snow is his earliest memory and he revels in it like I revel in the memory of fishing with my grandparents. It is who he is, perhaps more so than the summer sun, which turns his red coat gold and brings tears to my eyes. While I stand and alternately dread the thought of driving through it and wondering at the soft underside of it in the trees, Duncan has found a way to make it play with him, to rise up from its soft mounds and hum music I will never hear.

I have never loved the snow and thought I never would but then Ken delivered this warm, little, blinking red life into my hands and when I watched him love it I could not help but do the same. I have spent many afternoons lately walking with him at the park, turning my face into the setting sun, whispering my gratitude softly into the unusually warm November air, hoping Winter would somehow forget about us this year, ascend the mountains and leap far over us, landing somewhere in the Midwest, anywhere but here. It is a lot of work and preparation to walk in the snow, what with the heavy boots and thick socks, the coat, the knitted hat, the gloves and scarves wrapped and wrapped around me. I remembered the burden of it but not the joy. Duncan's joy.



Although I don't look forward to it, and would much rather watch him race through the sand and into the surf, I will love watching him this winter, will love watching him scamper and slide down the hill at The Glen, catching the snowballs Melissa tosses, will love kicking the snow at his face so he can snap at it as it disperses around his glorious head like wished-upon dandelion dust. There is much to love about the joy of another.


David said...

Okay. That picture of Duncan demands a caption. I suggest a contest.

caboval said...

What a great picture! I loved watching him romp around in it too! (And I love hearing you have a good time laughing Curt) Hugs, Valerie Joey and Kealani

Jenn said...

I, too, love the magical silence of the snow falling! But, I have to agree with those above that watching Dunc play in the snow is fun! thanks for sharing!

traci said...

GREAT photos! The last one of Duncan made me laugh out loud!

vanessahope said...

I loved reading this post. This is our first winter with our new puppy (he's 3 months old) and already it's been amazing to watch him play in the very little snow that we've had here. The first night he sat in the background looking at the sky trying to catch the snowflakes with his tongue. It was a very child-like thing to do. Last year when my other dog was still a puppy he used to tunnel into the snow banks and come out looking similar to that adorable picture of your Duncan- covered in snow!

Loved the video, hopefully you'll post somemore!

Murphy's Mom said...

You take my breath away with your poetic voice and vision. You also inspire me to write more. Thanks for bringing me joy this morning.

MyGuy Friday said...

haha - love him!!

Happy Holidays!!

CJ said...

That is just too much. A dogs life is not so bad.