Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Some Thoughts About Snow

It was more ice than snow. Hard sharp pellets pushed by fierce winds that stung the flesh. But is was still white, after the storm it looked like snow. The cookie cutter mid century suburban bungalows morphed into a multitude of variations, some lightly dusted, some wearing a full blanket of it which covered the roof. In the yards faded plastic figures of Mary and Joseph, suitably dressed for the cold, watched over a near naked baby Jesus. Surely, I thought, one of the shepards had a blanket they could have loaned them.

Some bemoan the appearance of snow. But in the Midwest it is a fact of winter life. Gazing out the window of the train on the way to work at the crisp field of white I feel differently. To me, snow, prior to it's transformation into the brown sludge that develops along the edges of the street, gives me a feeling of freshness. It covers the dry, brown, hibernating vegetation. It accentuates the jazz age ornamentation, resembling the icing on a wedding cake, of the venerable buildings which still abound in Chicago. The proud survivors of sometimes ill advised urban renewal. It catches in the branches of trees and provides a backdrop to the foraging birds, hares and even occasional deer as you pass close to the forest preserves which surround the urban area. The sun's rays glisten on icicles as they increase in length. Snow changes to water than reforms into the long spears in a show of nature's metamorphosis.

I rarely think of snow when it is not around me. But when it arrives, so long as it does not overstay it's welcome, it is a lovely occasional companion.

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