Clouds of loose snow blow across the fields and past the house. As long as there’s any dry snow in the world to the west of me, it makes its way past my windows. Every path I shovel gets packed with hard, dry drifts that lift like bricks as I shovel again.
We came home late at night two weeks ago after a windy storm and a snake of drifted snow curled out of the walkway to where we parked the car. I stepped over the first, knee-high drift on my way to the porch to get a shovel The next ridge was waist high and I plunged up to my thighs. It was impossible to tell from our yard how much snow had fallen in the storm. It was all drifts and mounds and long lips along ridges of white.
Our ski tracks across the field filled in this morning in the hour we were out. It wasn’t snowing, just blowing. We’d skied though woods to the edge of another field where the wind had sculpted pockets around the trees where we stopped.
Now gusts grab chunks of packed snow from the roof and fling it down into the stream whipping through the yard. The whistle and whisk of the wind turns into a long murmur and then a slap, slap, slap and bang as the shovels on the porch slip around.
The maple in the yard loses another dead branch. The hills in the distance are foggy with their own wind storms and above it all the sun has come out, last night’s storm has swirled itself out to sea and here on the edge of the great circle the wind keeps turning the corner and scrubbing my world.