"I wonder if the snow LOVES the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently? And then it covers them up snug, you know, with a white quilt; and perhaps it says, 'Go to sleep, darlings, till the summer comes again.'" - Alice, Through the Looking-Glass
I have a favorite song in the musical White Christmas. No, it's not the song "White Christmas", and it's not the song "Sisters", although with seven sisters you might have thought so. My favorite is when Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney, and Vera-Ellen sit in the dining car of a train bound for Vermont and sing:
"Snow, I want to wash my hands, my face and hair with snow. Snow, snow, snow, snow, sno-o-o-o-w!"
A local asked me this morning, "Are you tired of winter yet?' I answered truthfully. "No. Not yet." When I awoke this morning I saw that three inches of fresh snow had fallen on the bare Aspen branches outside our windows. Yes, and even a light fluttering of snow was still falling. A beautiful, serene blanket of fluffy white covering everything, so beautiful that it still takes my breath away.
The fresh snowfall collects on the snow that has been on the ground all season long. Feet and feet of it. The snow drifts are over my head in places, knee-high or thigh-high in others. With every step I sink down into it. Emma is so light that she usually stays on top of it. I will get some snowshoes.
Depending on the temperature and the color of the sky, the snow collects on the ground differently from week to week. Sometimes it looks almost sharp and spiky, full of ice crystals poking up, making me want to get a macro lens for my camera so that I can study the tiny little details of each snowflake. Icy and crunchy.
Some days the sun comes out in full force and shines on the fields just so that it looks like God decided to make it snow white glitter. Sparkling and glistening.
One day the snow looks furry, like the white trim on Santa's red suit. Fluffy and textured.
Another day, the drift behind the house looks shaggy like the wool of a sheep and then changes to look like an underwater coral reef. Ripply and deep.
Some days the snow collects like soft, fluffy little cotton balls all over the sarvis berry trees.
And some days the snow actually lands on things in classic big snowflake shapes. Little tiny crystal-y jewels falling right down on me from the foggy clouds above. Amazing.
The snow falls from the sky so differently from storm to storm that we started naming the snows. There is the Fairy Snow that lilts and flutters and floats and seems to want to hang in the air. Gentle. Ethereal. There is the Snow Globe Snow that falls with the winter wind, swirling, twirling all through the air and finally settles onto the ground until the next big gust of wind blows it up, and it meets and mingles with the new Snow Globe Snow swirling down. There is the Rain Shower Snow that falls steady, fast, and strong, inches at a time, but is dry and stays on the ground.
And then there is my favorite: the Big, Fluffy Snow. It falls in big clusters and sticks in your hair. It stays on your nose and eyelashes.
You can catch it on your tongue.
It is soft, fluffy, and so quiet. It is quintessential Colorado snow. We don't drop whatever we are doing every time it snows anymore, but I do find that I am drawn to the windows every time it is snowing Big, Fluffy Snow. I will stand and stare and allow myself to take a deep breath and just rest. It is so peaceful. So calming. Big, Fluffy Snow is why I am not tired of winter yet.
Oh, I do think about spring. About warmth. About the color green. I am looking forward to it. The snow has started to melt just a little tiny bit, only to be replaced by a fresh dusting at any time. The fresh snow that I woke up to this morning was all melted by the afternoon thanks to the mid-30s temperatures. (If you stand in the sunshine, it feels downright warm!) There is still so much snow that it is hard to imagine that we live under the threat of forest fires in the summer. I am told the snow will stay on the ground for another month or two, and there will continue to be snowstorms through May. But the temperatures will start to climb, trees will bud, life will begin anew.
Until then, I will put on my layers, wear my hand-knits, and enjoy the spectacular show. I waited 43 years to live through a mountain winter, and it has proven to be more than worth the wait.
"Snow was falling,
So much like stars
Filling the dark trees
That one could easily imagine
Its reason for being was nothing more