This morning I awoke to the first snow of the season. I love the hypnotic magic of watching the snowflakes fall. Unfortunately, that magic disappears the instant I step outside.
Outside, I don’t see the snow drifting weightlessly toward the ground. Instead I feel it against my face, wind-driven, like a thousand tiny ice razors. I feel the cold in my bones, and the moisture against my feet. At first my extremities hurt. Then they go numb and become useless, insensate stumps.
“Why do I live here?” I ask myself every year. And every year, the answer wears a bit more thin.
If I had to sum up my feelings about winter, I’d choose the words of the brilliant Ezra Pound:
Winter is icummen in,
Lhude sing Goddamm.
Raineth drop and staineth slop,
And how the wind doth ramm!
Skiddeth bus and sloppeth us,
An ague hath my ham.
Freezeth river, turneth liver,
Damn you, sing: Goddamm.
Goddamm, Goddamm, ’tis why I am, Goddamm,
So ‘gainst the winter’s balm.
Sing goddamm, damm, sing Goddamm.
Sing goddamm, sing goddamm, DAMM.
A parody of the Anglo-Saxon poem, Cuckoo Song
Still … in spite of my distaste for winter, there is something compelling about its desolate beauty:
As always, I’m promising myself that I’ll make the best of it. And I promise to bury my White Pine bonsai in hopes of a spring yet to come.