There have to be billions of them. More, I’m sure, falling down in slow motion about our heads and homes, disappearing our cars and our roads, enough of them to erase, in total, all evidence of who we are.
This fascination with numbers captures me too when it rains, especially a heavy rain in a well-lit city where the street is seen clearly from the hotel window and the streetlight is clouded with drops. How many does it take to drench us? How many does it take to create a solid veil between the clouds and the ground that, from a distance, outside the range of the weather front, appears as a living organism, a massive beast hunching on the horizon.
I suppose it doesn’t matter. Eventually, it all becomes one, whether soaked into the water table or settled into one unbroken blanket over the landscape. Across the lake, the unity has broken. A slow wind lifts a ghost of snow from a tall pine and it hangs in the air like smoke, and falls to the earth like smoke.
What I remember from winters in Virginia:
A. Walking down the white street towards home I smell smoke first – the unmistakable tang of burning firewood – and then see it coming from our chimney, the smoke purling down to the ground as if drawn down by a giant’s knitting needle. Needless to say, an invisible one.
B. Exploring the park behind our house in Edgehill, fully drained of color, I hear the flakes hit the ground. The world is silent except for the falling snow, a sound like the patter of an army of mice. Needless to say, they are white.
One of the joys of snow is seeing its unbroken perfection. This is proof that no one has walked there yet.
One of the joys of snow is crunching through it, leaving your most evident mark, a trail hard-edged with crusted ice.
Having been sick, I haven’t really been able to enjoy these pleasures myself. Instead, Megan has suffered to be my surrogate. These pictures and this video are her hard-won evidence.
p.s. in grand tradition, as i catch up with my blog, i’ll be backdating posts to fill in the days i missed. don’t worry, you’ll know when.