January 17, 2013

The predictions have ranged from 2 inches to 12 but everyone seems fairly certain we’re going to get snow.  I’m so excited . . . AND I’ll be even more excited if it takes the power out – or at least the internet out – with it.

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It used to mean – when I was in school or when I worked outside my house – that snow gave me a day off.  Now, well, it’s just another day but with snow.

Don’t get me wrong – I love snow, and I’m so eager to see the farm all piled with it, pristine and shimmering, especially after all this rain and its subsequent mud.  But I’d also like a guilt-free reason to just lay on the couch and nap and read all afternoon.

We’ll see what comes I guess.

P may come down in his Jeep later tonight, and I’d love that – even as I respect that he may need to help his parents out up north of her.  I would love to ride around in this stuff, headlights gleaming.  A little tiny risk in the midst of my fairly safe world.

When we were kids, Dad would load J and I into the big red station wagon, and we’d go around the lower loop by the moonshiner’s cabin and let the car slide, just a little around that hairpin turn.  Of course, one time – when J and I weren’t with him – Dad slid a bit too much, right through the cable strung between two posts and into the rhododendrons on the steep slope below.

There’s just nothing quite like the thrill of riding – for pure sport – through the snow.

Adrenaline without real cost – or at least it was that way when I was a kid and didn’t know that a door ding on a car could cost hundreds of dollars, or even that hundreds of dollars were possible.

I adore the snow. How it blankets everything in cleanness. How it sparkles even in the gray.  Every snow, I’m reminded of the end of Joyce’s “The Dead.”

It lay thickly drifted on the crooked crosses and head­stones, on the spears of the             little gate, on the bar­ren thorns. His soul swooned slowly as he heard the snow                         falling faintly through the uni­verse and faintly falling, like the descent of their last             end, upon all the liv­ing and the dead.

Such softness in the language there.  The s s s of “soul swooned slowly” like the delicate rasp of flakes against metal or the slick of a coat.  I love the adverbs here – thickly, faintly twice.  How barren is exactly what this image is not.  It’s not a happy image, this, of course, but it’s right somehow – and it captures just how I feel in the snow.  Odd though, that snow reminds me of literature. It feels, somehow, that it should be the other way round.

Just now, my ears are craving the hush that snow brings, as if cushions the sound waves and tucks them softer as they move along.  The air feels more open, too, like I can breath more deeply.

I love snow.

As kids, we always wanted to sled down the “chute,” but we had to wait until a big snow made it almost impossible for cars to ride that road because of the blind curve in it. Mom and Dad were rightly terrified that we would sled ourselves right into an oncoming car.

On those days, though, where we could go, man, that was awesome. Dad and I on that orange disc together and screaming around that turn, our bodies leaned hard left to make it and then piling off way down in the lower part of the neighborhood, where we almost never went because of some sort of strange problem with one of the neighbors and their sense that we shouldn’t be able to drive through their roads to get to our houses.  I”m just remembering this now and remembering that as a kid I was nervous to sled into their yards for fear they’d get angry.  Odd

I also remember the time the neighborhood kids got in a snowball fight, and Greg Messer threw a snowball at me after he tucked a rock inside and how it hit me square in the back of the head and how I cried.

Still, those days were blissful because all that we had expected we would do – the bus ride, the hours in plastic chairs, the cafeteria trays with their different size squares – all of that got put aside without us having to choose anything. Snow day.  Total freedom.  Open hours unplanned and unscheduled.  The best part of the day.

So now, as I sit on the farm with Meander on a blanket at my feet, I long for not just the hush and cover of snow but also the weight of it . . . to take out my satellite internet and let me run, Meander to her belly, through the snow before coming back in to a book I haven’t chosen yet and a blanket not yet out.

Snow day. Snow day. Snow day. I whisper into the keyboard here.