The Absence Of Snow

It is mid-March and given the past 24 hours and the forecast for the week, my title for this post might seem a tad out of touch. Every morning for at least a week, it seems, I have awoken to a fresh dusting coating the hard-packed winter’s accumulation.


But it is mid-March. Many slopes and sunny spots are now bare, and the fresh coating is gone by noon. Each day as I walk the pack out in the woods, I see more and more color, less and less white. I guess many people like this change – every shade of green and brown and gray and black and silver and then pink and purple and blue and yellow replace every shade of white. It is exciting in a way, and refreshing. But I mourn the departure of snow.

The snow writes a story that I, with my measly human senses, can read. Tracks, woodpecker chips, porky debris, you name it: the snow lays it bare, like a flow chart or a textbook, providing a complete exposition. When snow covers the ground, I can see the whole story. Past and present are explained in shades of white. I know the coyotes were here yesterday but the fisher strolled past, slowly, this morning. Deer came through last week. Or maybe I am the first to move through an area and the emptiness is perfect.


The snow softens sound and eases my footfalls. Softly slippery, it makes for comedy and tragedy as I scramble and flounder my way up and down the rolling terrain. I laugh at my stinging hands, flung out in front of me and in typical poorly-prepared fashion ungloved as I hit the deck yet again. I’d rather fall in snow than mud any day.

I watch the dogs, their noses pressed to the newly exposed moss, leaf litter, and mud, and I am jealous. The snow was neither here nor there for them. A dog’s nose is a microcomputer, gps device, card reader, and dogknowswhat else. My nose is runny; that’s all I got.

I think flowers are nature’s way of apologizing for making the snow melt.



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2 Responses to The Absence Of Snow

  1. Nancy says:

    I remember growing up in North Jersey and remember how peaceful that first snowfall was and how clean it all looked untouched. It is a beautiful sight. But now, living in Florida since 74′, we don’t get to see the beauty of snowfalls although, we have wittnessed flurries every bluemoon! Enjoy your spring…as new beauty will be coming!

  2. melissa says:

    felt super sad and nostalgic yesterday outside in snow that won’t stick. ever try buttsliding down the escarpment trail in summer?? not NEARLY as fun!

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