My new poems podcast, Words by Winter, can be found here.
Late night. Eight inches of heavy wet flakes. Sound of shovels up and down the block. The specific silence of air that comes only with snow.
Lifelong northerner that I am, snow is part of my earliest memories. Snow so deep my sisters and I could walk right up onto the roof of the garage and slide down the other side.
When I go to California in January, the way I do now, I think about snow. Dream of it. Miss the way, when you breathe in that cold, cold air, your whole body feels clear. Winter is something I’ve both loved and dreaded (S.A.D.) my whole life. But these days, on this melting planet, winter feels like a treasure always mine in such measure that I was heedless with it.
The Snow Man, by Wallace Stevens
One must have a mind of winter
to regard the frost and the boughs
of the pine-trees crusted with snow;
and have been cold a long time
to behold the junipers shagged with ice,
the spruces rough in the distant glitter
of the January sun; and not to think
of any misery in the sound of the wind,
in the sound of a few leaves,
which is the sound of the land
full of the same wind
that is blowing in the same bare place
for the listener, who listens in the snow,
and, nothing himself, beholds
nothing that is not there and the nothing that is.