Sunday, December 6, 2009

Just after snow

The woods out back were a perfect marvel this morning. Just enough snow had fallen to blanket everything, and it was wet enough for serious and creative sticking. All the horizontal surfaces had caps, all the vertical surfaces were whitened on the north side. The effect was slightly dizzying, like looking at Janus or yin-yang. Turn one way and it looked like just a normal couple of inches had fallen. Turn the other and the whole world was white, an alien place of no color, an outer space. It was exhilarating to be in a new, one-element world, like breathing water under the ocean.

Except for the sky, which was blue like only a post-storm sky can be, there was almost no color. The evergreens and moss and grasses were obliterated. I had to peer close up at the bushes to see red winterberries. There was one exception: a crabapple tree on Ash Point Drive still had a few red apples clinging to the snow-laden branches. I'd like to think that's the origin of Christmas tree decoration, not Victorian angels or some Visigothic thing involving the heads of enemies. Brightly colored baubles and lights are pagan enough for me. There's enough stuff already cluttering up our winters.

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