Postcard #13: Snow Daze

I like the way the wind seems to take form as it lifts the snow and howls through the trees. There is no way to escape the dance-in-the-face snow-snake-spirits that weave and wave off the roof edges. I barely feel the cold as I stand in the snow, ignoring how it spills into my boots as I sink into its bank. If I let the awe of watching the snow fall get to me too long, before long I will be washed with snow and shivering. That is how this week began, with the snow, a clean blanket of it, a proper snow, but not as deep as those in my fondest memory.

My favorite snow days are the ones when the snow is new, right when it has just stopped falling, and has turned the city into a wasteland. No one is outside, no businesses are open, the air is still relatively warm, and snow drifts have been molded into lovely curved mini-landscapes by the wind. It is during those times I feel like the only person left alive in the world. I bundle up and look forward to being the first human to make her prints in the snow.

My least favorite snow days are the ones when the snow has become crusty and hard, when snow is more like hunks of ice tossed into a glass to keep a cocktail chilled, and we’re set afloat in the drink, getting colder, and colder, and colder…  The coldest ice covering everything, slowing things down, giving us months of below-zero torture, with breezes to chap every cheek and turn skin to chalk.  That is the February snow, the time when the Cailleach will tell us how long she will want to stay with us. Never mind that groundhog. This Goddess will be riding a wolf when she storms. If the sun shines she will be out gathering wood for her fire. And, if the sky is full of cloud, she’ll stay inside to cook a stew, perhaps take a nap or two. Even when the Spring Equinox signals her exit, she can stay as long as May if she so wishes. I have learned to respect her.

As I stay awake late, I feel the cold breath of the winter beyond my window, just a few planes of glass separate me from the chill. For the moments I took to write this, my heart flashes with enough heat to melt the snow outside. Even if you are not appreciating the cold like I am, I throw this warmth at you like a snowball, hit you so soft that it won’t hurt when it hits, it will just dissolve, maybe turn to vapor, light as a whisper by the time it reaches you, yet leaving you touched by the most gossamer of fairy-wing.

That is a wish I wished come true for you, from me at home, to you out there, and everywhere, beyond the snow, or in it, where ever you will be.

Catch you in another daze.

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