Monday, December 3, 2007

First Snow

We had our first snowfall this morning. It's cold and wet and cloudy and goopy. I love it. This is seasonal weather, the way it should be.

When I woke up this morning, the light filtering through the skylight was muted, as though the day were hiding from me. I knew we were supposed to get snow, it was snowing when I woke up in the middle of the night, but it was this light that told me that the snow had arrived and stuck.

Looking outside, the lines of the world were softened. The trees in the backyard had a new foliage of white and the cars a heavy blanket, as though they were still asleep.

The first snow of the season brings a special, quiet magic with it. Snow seems to soften the harshness of the world at the same time that it brings its own threatening beauty. I am not the first nor will I be the last to comment on this, but I love that quietness. It speaks of hidden things, of the unknown peering out from snow caves, of the ground underneath going to sleep for the long cold months. When I was a little girl my parents would read me stories about the Tomten, who wandered through the winter world at night, making sure everything was safe. For me, the first snowfall invokes the Tomten and his quiet, homely ways. I look for the small footprints of a secret guardian checking on the mild things of the world.

When I left the house this morning the snow was already succumbing to the wetness of the waking day. The thwack of dropping clumps of snow from branches. The scrape of shovels on the sidewalk. Underfoot the two inches of whiteness compressed to a dark track and I forgot to keep looking for the Tomten's footprints as I walked, clumsy for the first time this season in my winter boots, to pull the blanket off my car.

And like everyone, I will complain about the weather, about the wet and cold. But I won't forget. This is how it should be. The snow makes the world glow at night. The snow brings deep quiet. The snow hides the tired remnants of autumn and lets the world sleep before spring. And the snow brings the Tomten.

(c) 2007 Laura S. Packer Creative Commons License

1 comment:

  1. Hi Laura,
    I see you're in MASS, my husband is from Springfield. I enjoyed reading your comments about the snow...I'm anticipating a white Christmas when we come to New England for the holidays.


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