Monday, December 27, 2010


That's the best I can get to while saying "snow" right now. Seventeen inches of it has fallen and after several bouts of vigorous shoveling my sinuses have packed their little suitcases and moved to the Bahamas. Which is the shadow side of winter.

But newly-fallen snow is wonderful! The way it envelops and blankets the visual world, turning it into an architectural and austere pen-and-ink drawing, except for the fluffiness of the snow. The way sounds are muffled and made distant contributes to that strange feeling of being both exposed and safely contained in the snow.

This is the time of the year when I miss my dogs the most, because nothing was as hilarious to watch as their great happiness with new-fallen snow. My Hank used to turn herself into an industrial plow, drilling straight ahead, and sometimes I'd only see her tail and ears in the middle of the snow-plow effect. Henrietta would take snow baths, lying on her back and wriggling, and then she'd toss a lump of snow in the air and swallow it in one big gulp. Then the both of them would take off and run down slopes, sometimes making somersaults, and mostly ending next to me while shaking themselves vigorously. Mmm.