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.