am in awe of the fact I am looking out my office window overlooking my neighborhood and all I see is everyone’s lawns growing like it was early September.
Heading into what used to be considered the dark hole of winter I should be looking out at a winter wonderland where anything less than 12 inches high should be covered by a thick blanket of white. I have to admit I am not a great fan of winter and its weather but I also have to confess I kind of miss the snows of winter’s past. I remember, not so long ago, when the Thanksgiving holiday was a time to get out the skis and the snow blower because it was a time when winter reared its frosty head.
Today, looking out my window I see a time that can’t be defined by any season because nothing looks like winter including the deep greens of the grasses that surround my home. So what does one do during this season that has no name? I guess I could pull out my lawn-mower and cut my ever growing lawn. In fact, I laughed when I was putting up my Christmas decorations this year because as I was stringing up my lights my next door neighbor was mowing his lawn. In my lifetime this has never happened to me before.
I am not the only being that is confused this season. The trees that surround my home have large buds just waiting to burst out of their limbs. This would not be healthy for the trees because I assume there has to be some cold weather coming. If the buds do bloom and the cold does come it will be an awfully brown spring season. That is if we still have spring in our futures.
The spring bulbs around my house are also being fooled this year. Some of my favorites include iris. These have already sprung their large green shoots and I am in fear this could be the first year I don’t see and smell the scent of what has represented spring for me for over 30 years. Even my tulips are starting to sprout that surprises me because they did not go through their traditional freeze that is supposed to freeze the ground many weeks ago.
Like everyone or probably everything that misses something I started to think about the wonderful parts of winters gone by. The morning air is remarkably fresh after a snowstorm. I can’t think of another time when the taste of the air is so pure and invigorating. The air even tastes good. That first breath of winter’s air fills my lungs with an almost magical sense of newness that any feeling of lethargy left from the night before is totally vanquished from my being.
My body is so drenched in its newness and cleanliness that it tingles with a sense of absolute purity. I remember many a morning after an evening snowstorm when I just stood outside enjoying how nature cleanses all that is smart enough to enjoy this reality. A reality I now miss.
There is also nothing more beautiful than what our homes look like after a snowstorm. All things are so white and clean that everything looks like it was just born. The trees sparkle like shattered crystals in the sun making them look more majestic than they appeared at the height of any other season. The snow makes them droop as though they were wearing a heavy coat.
Like a woman displaying an expensive fur these same trees emit pride in what they are now wearing. All the broken remnants of the summer and fall are now covered with this blanket of purity. It is as though an ocean of white flowed through our neighborhood and froze in many wave like positions making all the straight lines of our environment disappear.
The children are seen outside first after a snowstorm. Maybe it is because of their youth and need to enjoy all that is around them. But, I also believe it is in their nature to be drawn to something that is so new, so like themselves. And, like them, the snows know that this newness will not be around forever. That it is fleeting and will soon be returned to the straight lines of reality. I also miss the sounds of the aftermath of a snowstorm. It is always so quiet. Not your normal silence in which one can’t hear anything.
I am talking about a quiet that can also be felt. These are sounds of the air. If one concentrates one can hear the new fallen snow start to fall onto itself. It is almost as though it is breathing and enjoying the totality of a new beginning. The sounds of the wind blowing through the snow sound like sand blowing on the beaches of the early spring and fall. The only way to define these sounds is to compare them to the quiet of nothing; for nothing is the only perfection and the aftermath of a snowstorm is as perfect as I will ever hope to observe.
These same winds put on their own show. It is almost a dance in which the snow, the crystal laden trees, and the children put on for all whom are interested enough to see. It doesn’t cost anything but time to watch how fresh a new snowstorm can seem. I remember enjoying how the wind blows the snow to my face where it melts and thus washes all the weariness of many past days. It always tingles but feels so wonderful.
Who would have thought I would miss the snows of time past. I guess it is because it represents another loss through the path of time.
Where has all the snowfall gone?
By J. G. Fabiano.
Jim Fabiano is a teacher and writer living in York, Maine, USA
e-mail him at: email@example.com
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