The Promise of Snow
In the days of my childhood when the skies dipped low, when the clouds turned grey-clustered and crowded as flocks, when the air lost its lightness and slid down the lungs like ice water, my Father would look up, eyes gleaming, and say, “It feels like snow”. And it always seemed, just like that, it would happen - tumbling, falling, white over white, snow would fall in blankets and drifts - till all the world was changed.
Schools would close. Fires would blaze. Soups would simmer.
These days we have meteorologists. Learned men and women who stare pie-eyed from our television screens as they warn us of weather, employing adjectives normally reserved for war in their rabid desire to be heard. Snow is no longer fun; it is “disaster”. We no longer see the “promise” of snow, but the “threat.”
Being Southerners, we are ill-prepared for snow. We rarely see it, and when we do, we are prone to slip and slide in our cars without chains on the tires; we run into one another on our hilly roads, veer off into ditches, get stuck inside drifts. So at the first fearsome warning we rush to clear supermarkets of anything edible and hunker down for the siege that usually never occurs. We find ourselves in this situation today. Warned of white peril and reminded of past failures, our schools have closed. The mad rush to the market happened last night. I doubt there remains a loaf of bread to be found in the county. The fire is blazing. The soup is simmering. And here we sit, watching it drizzle. Am I the only one disappointed?
Does anyone still thrill at the hint of a snowfall? Do children still sit at windows and wait for that old unique magic drifting down from the skies? Do little girls still play inside frosted castles that were hours before only cedars and hemlocks? From my friends in Boston, I know there is such a thing as too much snow. But today as I pull on my boots and head out for a walk in the cold with Edward, I cannot help but look up and wish the skies were a wee bit lower, the air a tiny bit heavier.
I wish I look hear my Father say, “It looks like snow”.
A few years back.....