She could not fathom the hexagonal miracle of snowflakes formed from clouds, crystallized fern and feather that tumble down to light on a coat sleeve, white stars melting even as they strike. How did such force and beauty come to be in something so small and fleeting and unknowable?”
Eowyn Ivey, The Snow Child
This weekend’s foot of snow has given the Michigan landscape a white frosting, but the ephemeral nature of our weather ensures that its presence will be fleeting. Before it disappears, come walk with me across an icy stream and along a woodland trail.
Out enjoying, if briefly, the last day of the polar vortex’s visit. The sky takes on a brilliant blue hue only seen around here with Arctic temperatures. I can’t say, though, that I’ll be sad to bid goodbye to this visitor.
Yesterday, before the big snowfall whistled in from the West, I tramped among these lovely, nearby woods. I met a deer clad in winter gray for camouflage, but she couldn’t stay long enough to talk or even pose for a picture before throwing up her white tail and bounding off. Maybe next time. Today, this scene must be frosted with white chiffon. I will visit again and invite you to join me.
While reading this afternoon on the law for mundane slip-and-fall cases, I happened upon an opinion with a literary flare. Regarding the hazards of snow and ice, the judge quoted one of the Pilgrims who sailed to the wilds of America on the Mayflower, Reverend William Bradford, writing 400 years ago: “they that know the winters of that country know them to be sharp and violent, subject to cruel and fierce storms, dangerous to travel to known places . . .” I wondered if the writer amused himself by tossing this splash of color into the often-bland landscape of legal writing. And I thought to myself that Bradford could have been writing about the previous two Michigan winters.
The first fall of snow is not only an event, it is a magical event. You go to bed in one kind of a world and wake up in another quite different, and if this is not enchantment then where is it to be found?