Thursday, February 28, 2013

winter's last word

I called the bus driver today to tell her that our road was still too bad for travel, and that I'd be keeping my older two home today.

Before my husband left for work, I put on a fleece jacket, a toque, and my boots, and ventured out into the pristine world left by yesterday's snow with camera in hand.


This late winter snow is sticky and heavy, and clings to everything it touches. It balances on the clothesline and on every little twig in the woods.


It knits itself into quirky, lopsided hats on every fence post.


The snow throws itself at flat surfaces with wild abandon, as if Mother Nature took a shine to Jackson Pollack's work and decided to give it a try, in monochrome.


Thick curls of snow slide slowly off tin roofs, and I imagine Hansel and Gretel scooping it off like frosting, with greedy fingers.


I clamber over the pile left by our neighbour's snow plow, and peek through to the potting shed, thinking of Mr. Tumnus and the Beaver family in their perpetual winter.


I acknowledge a moment of gratitude that my car will stay parked where it is today, and that my only obligations today are feeding the fire with wood and keeping my children warm and fed.


To continue with the silly metaphors, this old barn is an aging beauty, who overdoes her face powder a bit. Contrary to her intent, it calls her perfect imperfections into stark relief, and makes me love her more.



The trees around our farm bear the burden of snow with grace and loveliness, because it shows their textures off so effectively.


The sharp lines of fences and trellises are softened by the feathery drifts that grasp each wire.


In this world of grey hues, the only colour to be found is on my front porch in the shape of a bench and some coloured glass. Before I step up, I pause with my eyes closed, to just listen to the sound of chickadees, the almost imperceptible "ping" of tiny snowflakes landing on my hat, and the absence of all other sound. The world around me has been muffled, and I take a deep breath in conscious preparation for the many noisy moments that lie in wait once I return to the inside.

As I reach for the door, I see this little footprint and I almost look behind me to see if the Tomten has been following me all this time. I picture him whispering blessings to all of us as we wait for winter's last word, then open the door to the scent of coffee and woodsmoke, and the sound of my children's voices.

20 comments:

  1. beautiful! I was surprised our buses were running today, but off they went. I took a couple pictures of our snow this morning (from my screen door though!) and posted them on my blog. We'll be heading out our door shortly to get some of the outside tasks done, I'll be putting snow shoes on the little one I think.

    Beautiful though, and won't all this snow be wonderful for the water table :)

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  2. I LOVE your metaphors! And your beautiful photos. This is the kind of snow that you wake up to and there is no doubt in your mind who is in charge ~ mother nature ;) Thank you for sharing this today :) ~ Paula

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    1. I deleted these comments because they were duplicates! :)

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  5. What a gorgeous post! We had snow like that this past week too. It was just breath taking!

    Oh, and how I loved that picture of the snow curling off the roof! I have never seen something like that before. Simply amazing!

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  6. simply beautiful!a photographer's paradise.You certainly got more snow than we did.you do write beautifully

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  7. Yay for you to pause and take the time to capture that winter wonder land. I enjoyed it. Very beautiful.

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  8. Wonderful post and equally wonderful pictures!

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  9. Beautiful! Its a winter wonderland here too, and still snowing!!

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  10. I was thinking just this morning I need to learn all the Inuit words for snow ( they have tons of them!) to describe the different sorts we get here in Ontario. This wet stuff is very different than the snow pellets or the light airy fluff that comes when it is colder! Just having one word for all the varieties seems inappropriate

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    1. I lived among the Inuit for a year and never heard tell of the legendary 1000 words for snow...that doesn't mean they don't exist. I guess it's kind of like how we have so many words for rain: drizzle, muzz, sleet, etc...but yes, this snow has its own character! One kind of snow we don't see here is what I call "igloo snow"...it's hard, dense, but lightweight, kind of like styrofoam...hard-packed but light and great for builing!

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  11. It sure was a beautiful morning, and really a beautiful day. We have enjoyed it a lot. Lovely post!

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  12. wow you got lots of snow! we got a dump here too in the mountains, but then it rains the next day, then snows etc. here was our snowy weekend! http://littlemountainhaven.blogspot.ca/2013/02/a-snowy-weekend.html

    I am so excited for spring!!!

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  13. What a beautiful post - gorgeous photos and lyrical writing. Thank you for transporting me.

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  14. Beautiful....simply beautiful! A wonderful way for you to sink into your day!

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  15. Such beautiful pictures. So much snow. What a great way to start your morning.

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  16. Oh my goodness - I LOVE this! I was out that same day, camera in hand. And you know what? I took a shot of one of those curls coming off the old grainery shed! Gotta love that. It was the imprint of the tin roof on the underside of the curl that was so compelling.

    Beautiful photos, my friend.

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