Snow is starting to become a regular thing in our neighborhood.
Ani and I remarked on (read: laughed at) our mutual inexperience earlier this week when we began to see little bits of the stuff flying about one afternoon.
What is that? Is that fluff? Gotta be, like cotton, or foam, something, right?
I won’t say who said what: we’re both guilty. And the conversation – with large gaps of silence in between statements of disbelief – went on longer than it should have.
My defense: We live on the second floor so there was a buoyancy to those first flakes that seemed suspect. Between New Mexico and blizzards in NYC, I’ve spent a good ten years moving through snow, putting on boots, bundling up, and the rest. But that’s a matter of snow as presence.
Snow as verb, however… well, it got me this week.
The poem below by Charles Wright is fortifying given the months ahead of us. Wright is a mystic – and in this short poem (from his collection Sestets) he conjures up what the snow itself conjures inside a person.
On the Night of the First Snow, Thinking About Tennessee – Charles Wright
It’s dark now, the horses have had their half apple,
mist and rain,
Horses down in the meadow, just a few degrees above snow.
I stand in front of the propane stove, warming my legs.
If the door were open, I’d listen to creekwater
And think I heard voices from long ago,
distinct, and calling me home.
The past becomes such a mirror – we’re in it,
and then we’re not.