Saturday, December 26, 2009

"Through blizzards and desert heat," without the desert heat

I don't judge the early pagans for worshiping weather, of assigning gods and goddesses to the snow and wind, because when I woke up the other day to see New England cocooned in snow, I wanted to
sacrifice a goat right then and there, say a few words in Latin or Old English, perhaps, and poor out a libation on my stoop, if only to melt a pathway through the ice so I could get to work. My need to sacrifice a goat to Khione, goddess of snow, came about in part by my unpreparedness. The ancient Greeks didn't have Converse back then, but I'm sure their footwear was equally ill-suited to blizzards.

We forget to stand in awe of the effects of nature, though; we have our shovels and salt and snow plows (everyone and their mother has personal plows attached to their Fords and Jeeps here). You can't worship that which you don't fear. God forbid there comes a time when I don't fear snow or the Beauty that waylays the poet in the midst of her journey.

But it's not the difficulties snow brings on me (oh, so much slow trudging) nor the dull, numbing violence of cold that awes me; it's that muted-ness only snow can bring - when the whole world becomes soft and silent, and even the cars seem to tip-toe across town, afraid to wake some slumbering child; and the freshness of newly fallen snow. They say spring is the season of renewal, but it's winter: when the snow reminds us again how much we love the bowing pines and the empty space between houses; how we thank God for hedges and lampposts and even the wire waste bins, which now seem to be made for the express purpose of lifting white mounds of snow up to the light, how even the drab stoops of creaking houses are lovable again and every frosted alley deserves portraiture.

1 comment:

  1. oh right. I like winter. I had forgotten and was dreading this last month of cold and (hopefully?) snow.