On Sunday we had our first big snow of the season, 15.5 inches, officially. Thankfully, the power stayed on despite the heavy, wet snow, although the pole that holds our bird feeder snapped under the weight. Al shoveled our drive and walkway three times, more than earning a good night’s sleep. I clomped through deep snow in our backyard to rescue the feeder and hang it by the back deck, so the birds could still find some food in the storm. Inside, our home stayed warm and cozy, as the world around us slowed down.
I always love this kind of snow, early in winter, before it turns grubby and sloppy and monotonous. The transformation is stunning. Snow outlines lacy tree branches, drags down evergreen boughs, and covers roofs like thick layers of buttercream frosting. Side roads stay white, even after plowing, with high borders lining both sides. Only a few cars venture out, and no planes drone overhead. Quiet reigns.
On Monday afternoon, I bundled up in a long sweater under my down coat, snow boots, wool hat, warm mittens, and sunglasses, and set out to see how the neighborhood had changed.
School was canceled to give the city time to clean up after the weekend storm, but I only saw one dad pulling two of his kids on a red plastic sled, while the other two walked alongside. One of the kids on the sled, his cheeks bright pink, licked a huge ball of snow. I used to love that wintry treat, too, when I his age. Also making snowmen, but so far, none to be seen.
Elsewhere, a few neighbors were shoveling their drives or brushing off cars. Most folks had, like Al, done the main clearing on Sunday. You could tell who had snow blowers by the wide paths along sidewalks that were already melted down to pavement. An icicle shattered on someone’s front steps. Dollops of snow, like whipped cream, clung to branches. Snow covered half of a neighbor’s roof, while the other half had melted to reveal an array of black solar panels.
Aside from enjoying the scenery, the best part of my walk was savoring the moist air that eased my winter-indoors-too-dry nose and eyes, and the fact that it was warm enough to walk with my mittened hands outside my pockets for the whole mile-and-a-quarter route. The air smelled fresh and clean. My head was much clearer when I got home. As I wrote this post, I could hear a red-tailed hawk calling somewhere nearby.
All of this will wash away by mid-week, in another storm, but rain this time. So, here’s to living in the present moment and enjoying all the beauty that surrounds us, each day. You only have to look to find it.