I've likely mentioned how much I need my seasons--how I would get bored with the same thing for too long. I don't love one season more than the others so much as I love any shift from one to the other. Much as I crave the crisp, colorful shift in September, I am equally grateful for the first flowers poking through the snow in May, and for this first snow.
(Note: Maine actually had their first snow, in the "few inches" range, a few weeks ago, but I wasn't here for it, which means this real snow counts as my first, per the official rules of such things.)
I sit here in my local family's house, the only sound the light snores from my friend's afternoon nap in the next room, and puzzle through the window glass: Where does my love for snow come from? Stories and books, childhood memories of fort-building and snow days, the way the weather wraps seamlessly in my brain, braiding together with firesides, hot cocoa, Christmas?
But past that, I have some poetic, romantical attachment to it. Watching it--it's falling again, ridiculously delicately--I grasp on to that sense of silence, of quieting the world. A couple of my favorite carols, from a musical standpoint, anyway--"Still, Still, Still" and "In the Bleak Midwinter"--center on snowfall, not in a let's-have-another-drink-and-snuggle way, but in this: sitting and watching the world change.
Earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone.
Snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow
In the bleak midwinter, long, long ago.
What is it that sees this as good, as comforting, as desirable, to see the muddied late-fall world of grays and browns covered and rounded and washed white and quieted?
In reality, it's dangerous: my city will have seen people die in these last two days--overconfident motorists, homeless people with nowhere to go, maybe an elderly woman who took a bad fall. It means trickier walking and driving, higher heating and electricity costs, the manual labor of scraping and shoveling... But somehow I see it as good. I'm not sure why.
Maybe it's just that thing inside me that longs to see things remade. What was dark, damp woods two days ago is now a work of art, each tree's geometry traced and highlighted in white and shadow. What was dead and dying grass is now mounds of cloud punctuated with snow angels and snowmen. Even the longer winter nights are made lighter--my eyes were convinced that 2:30 this morning was pre-dawn.
I don't know my whys on this one--don't even know why I dig for them. But whether it's rooted in Snow White and Julie of the Wolves, in my own personal Alaskan nativity or somewhere else in my history or genetics or culture, I love this moment. Before we've become accustomed--and, shortly after, exhausted--by it, before it is another season I'm eager to see the shift away from, I make this concerted effort to enjoy it. Even with my upped heating bills, with my bruised elbow from the other night, with the promise of snow shovels and extra layers and boots, I will love and work to love this snow.