I love snow, and woke to a world full of it this morning, snow piled to the railings on the back deck, a huge white hood covering the grill. Sitting by the wood stove with my cup of coffee, the kindling I’d set on the coals flicked into flame, a burst of light through the glass door. The blush of color ringing the dawn horizon deepened and caught fire also.
All the snow in the past few weeks, the storms and the skiing, and my obsessive checking of weather forecasts, reminds me of so many winters, so many treks through deep snow, so many outdoor adventures reveling in the way a great storm transforms the fields and forests into a cross-country skiing paradise.
In the year after Eric died, I couldn’t bring myself to ski or enjoy winter. Snow storms made me sad. Skiing had been such a part of our lives together, it didn’t feel right to ski without Eric. I spent that first winter watching storms, rather than celebrating them.
Recognizing how far I’ve moved from that place of paralyzed grief, I remembered this poem from The Truth About Death, which I wrote just about exactly 8 years ago. Eric would be happy knowing I’m back to celebrating explosions of snow like the storm that rode through New Hampshire yesterday. He would have loved this winter. Let it snow.
The first real storm washes out the little color
in the landscape, the barn and shed and silo
weathered to the gray of a cut snow bank.
Sparrows peck in the perennial bed, tall stems
and seed heads clustered through snow. Small storms
of snow blow up off the roof of the hay shed,
sweep past. We would ski at midnight to catch
the pure snow before the storm slipped over to sleet.
So much happens every day, I need a wagon to hold
the hole. Last night I lay on the kitchen floor,
where our cat slept for her last year, her old body
bony, weightless. I noticed the narrow maple
floor boards running under the hutch, thinking
the world is flat even as I know it is round.