The color of snow

color of snow3 - 1


Yesterday was the clearest, sharpest, bluest sky of all the winter days.  Everybody was talking about it, even as most of us our discouraged by the never-ending pattern of subzero mornings and regular snowfall.  It felt as if February was giving us a gift, so we could just hang on until March, when there will be genuine signs of hope.  There is something about the quality of light, as the sun creeps up off the horizon, that gives the snow drifts and fields such beautiful and interesting colors this time of year.  When I’ve been driving into town in the morning light, the top of the vast fields are that lovely shade of pale baby blue, but, wherever there are snow drifts, the vertical plane of the snow looks like bright white satin.  It’s not shimmering with diamonds dancing in the snow, but it looks silky, and folds like fondant icing over the blue fields.  Last night’s sunset spilled rose gold across the land, and shadows became Bleu de France, that distinctive happy blue found in striped cotton T-shirts, worn with a pair of white capris and red-painted toenails.

And, then, there were the winter stars.  We had been to dinner with friends, in their cozy house in the woods, and when we came down our dark road, we could see that the stars were shining to the horizon line.  The supermoon had not yet risen in the east, and I walked up our road, away from the lights of the garage, to take in the sky.  So many constellations I cannot name, and the broad swath of Milky Way, were in a blue-black sky, that was the same color found in charming vintage Christmas cards, in which golden light spills on snow from a little cabin, and white smoke curls from the chimney into a dark night, with snow flakes dotting the trees.  It was that kind of night, as the heavy flocking of snow covering our tall pines, actually glowed by the light of the stars.

I’ve been looking at photos and videos this morning of Scottsdale, Arizona’s big snow fall last night.  How awful would that be, for everyone who thought they were safe from winter’s wrath.  It’s clouding up here, with more snow to arrive by night fall, and subzero temperatures at the end of the week-end.  March 4th is still the first day predicted to be above freezing.  That’s something to look forward to, and, yesterday, was something to remember.

Lines for Winter–by Mark Strand

Tell yourself
as it gets cold and gray falls from the air
that you will go on
walking, hearing
the same tune no matter where
you find yourself—
inside the dome of dark
or under the cracking white
of the moon’s gaze in a valley of snow.
Tonight as it gets cold
tell yourself
what you know which is nothing
but the tune your bones play
as you keep going. And you will be able
for once to lie down under the small fire
of winter stars.
And if it happens that you cannot
go on or turn back
and you find yourself
where you will be at the end,
tell yourself
in that final flowing of cold through your limbs
that you love what you are.

1 thought on “The color of snow

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