And it was perfect snowball snow.
But the snowballs would have to wait. My eighth graders had to take the Explore test, a pre-pre ACT that is supposed to help them and the school see what classes they should be taking in high school. This used to be a huge deal, but as the local high school is de-tracking (yeah!!) it’s more informational than anything. And my high school junior had to get to physical therapy and then to an all day rehearsal for the school play.
Our day began with a scramble for calculators, breakfast, dogs, and boots. My eldest drove herself to therapy and to rehearsal – her first foray this year into slippery snowy conditions. Not for the first time am I happy we have that old Volvo station wagon.
And then, after the flurry of the morning, I was alone in the house. The snow fell in heavy flakes. I knew that I would have to shovel (my husband was in NYC dealing with parentstuff), but that would be later. I just watched the snow. If you look in my backyard, you might not ever believe that you are in a city. Just a day or two earlier the poem from the Writer’s Almanac was a reflection on snow and happiness. It had been a long time since I had thought of snow as a happy thing. I don’t know if I ever have, as an adult. (On second thought – I remember the first snow in this house – the twins were not yet two years old; that was a happy snow.) But now I could see it.
“Manna” by Joseph Stroud
Everywhere, everywhere, snow sifting down,
a world becoming white, no more sounds,
no longer possible to find the heart of the day,
the sun is gone, the sky is nowhere, and of all
I wanted in life – so be it – whatever it is
that brought me here, chance, fortune, whatever
blessing each flake of snow is the hint of, I am
grateful, I bear witness, I hold out my arms,
palms up, I know it is impossible to hold
for long what we love of the world, but look
at me, is it foolish, shameful, arrogant to say this,
see how the snow drifts down, look how happy
from Of This World. © Copper Canyon Press, 2009
So, now I wonder what the snow blessed in my life.
Snow, a benediction
I am blessed with life, great love, children, home, friends, dogs, warmth, work I love, health, family, children, words, music made by hand, food, gathering, an ancient Volvo, colleagues the world over, neighbors that are friends, friends that are neighbors, fiends, joy, astonishment, and did I mention children, and love.
The snow fell on all of these parts of my life, covering and connecting them. In the quiet of the house I acknowledged happiness.