Today we woke up to a revolution of snow,
its white flag waving over everything,
the landscape vanished,
not a single mouse to punctuate the blankness,
and beyond these windows the government buildings smothered,
schools and libraries buried, the post office lost
under the noiseless drift,
the paths of trains softly blocked,
the world fallen under this falling.
In a while I will put on some boots
and step out like someone walking in water,
and the dog will porpoise through the drifts,
and I will shake a laden branch,
sending a cold shower down on us both.
(from Snow Day, by Billy Collins)
It snowed all night and is snowing still, but more as an afterthought, flakes that are minuscule and nearly forgotten as they waft through the air, like motes in a sunny window. They are kind to the face and eyes, and do not sting or pinken the cheeks even, but seem somehow to remind me that I am alive, that mornings like this––trudging loudly, breathing heavily under the weight of the snow––are beautiful also, even though my heart is a late-Spring heart and my spirit is firmly married to summer. There are gifts to be found in the snow, in the silence and the wet suck of the cars cutting through the granite-colored slush. There is goodness in the cool of the air on my open throat or the back of my neck, and profound appreciation for the warmth of my gloves and socks, which always seem to turn sideways upon themselves in the unreachable depths of my boots.
And then there is Duncan, the greatest gift of all. I cannot help but marvel at his wonder and exhilaration, watching him run and play as he does, stopping every now and then to pick the snowballs out from under the rough pads of his feet before resuming his tireless celebration. Together we crawl into the snow caves made by the sunken, covered boughs of the trees. He enters cautiously, unsure of what he'll find, but something in there, the blue-white light perhaps, or the discovery of a place entirely his own, causes his heart to leap up strong so that he runs circles, in and out, back and forth, weaving among the boughs, knocking the snow this way and that until eventually the cave is not a cave but simply another low spot among the trees. No bother, though. There are other places to explore and the memory of this day will sustain him through the long summer months, just as the memory of his delight will sustain me throughout my life.
We cast no shadows on days like this, and all the light in the world seems to come from within.