Monday, January 10, 2011

A stroll in the snow

We wake up to a changed world. Then we go outside and walk in it.

Here's the old Christmas tree, lying at the curb, redecorated in white.

Here's a set of fresh animal tracks, a pair of little feet side by side, something with a hop instead of a stride.

Here's the neighbor's toddler, bundled up and waddling down the driveway. You wonder if she'll remember.

Here's the old snow shovel, up from the basement, brought out of retirement.

Here's a woman in her yard, measuring with a T-square. "It says 2 (inches)," she says, "but I think it's wrong. I think it must be 12."

Here's a giant magnolia, wide green leaves cupping the snow like a handful of sugar.

Here's a single woodpecker, thock-thocking at a tree, echoing in the soft silence.

Here's a streetlight, lit up, confused.

Here's the dog, having the best day ever, prancing down the street, plowing his nose into the drifts, panting and pulling and chasing down every stray scent with jets of steam coming from his mouth.

Here's our boots, every step scrunching in the powder, and all of a sudden here's a memory of flip-flops in the white Gulf sand down at Panama City Beach.

Here's a flock of birds, holed up in a tree, sending out sentries to bring back a weather report.

Here's a woman on a bike, eyes lit like stars, wishing us good morning and leaving a wobbly track down the sidewalk.

Here's the snow itself, the drifts flat as a tabletop on unbroken front lawns, the clumps plunging from branches like cliff divers, the flakes brushing your jacket with a soft psssh like a lover's lips.

Here's gray slush going down the storm drain, a reminder that all things must pass.

And here's a statue in a front yard, a concrete goddess holding up one of those shiny gazing balls, glowing blue and gold. The gazing ball is covered with snow, and so is the fence, and so are the roofs of the houses and the tops of the trees and everything we can see.

Here's an amazing day, a world changed overnight, a moment that whispers: Look at this.


Photo by Alix Felsing


Alicia Roberts said...

Your captured my feelings exactly, Tommy. Thank you. (And beautiful writing, man.)

Lynne Stevenson said...

Perfectly stated, as usual, my friend! Here in northeastern SC, 18miles away from Scotland County, NC, we have about a foot of snow. My husband took pictures of Olivia and Matilda, our two female pugs, playing outside while ago. It is amazing how much a sheet of ice and snow can transform even the most mundane surfaces into a new wonderland. It is truly beautiful and very dangerous. Hope everyone enjoys it while it lasts...

Anonymous said...

Wonderfully thought out and written, truly evoking the feeling of the day. Never mind the traffic, forget about the commute with crazy drivers...just forget all of that.

It's pieces like this one where you excel at your craft.

Anonymous said...

On a day like today, when it seems like it's the end of the world as we know it, Tommy writes about the snow, and I'm glad.

Marilyn said...

Beautiful! I live on Panama City Beach. When it is really cold, like today, I walk on the beach and imagine our white sand being snow. It is interesting that you wrote my thoughts in reverse. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Well Done Tommy. Well Done.

Randy Mitchell said...

But don't forget the sound of the snow. Who knew you could actually hear the flakes gently flick branches and unfallen leaves? Only on a day like this, with no traffic, mowers or other stray noise to drown out this, the softest of all sounds. Or at least it seems like you can hear them.