The first snow

The first snow
Burt Baldwin - 12/17/2020

The real winter begins with the first accumulative snow. The blanketing of the land creates a magnificent and majestic beauty, which for me, is not only wonderful but mysterious. The myriad snowflakes that fall, each their own design, never to be duplicated, are so fragile that they can vanish in an instant. These evanescent flakes designed by nature, gather into crystalline granules on the land and reflect as ephemeral diamonds in the day’s clear light. A magical landscape is offered if observed.

After the storm, a new day arrives, and a coalescence of cold and moisture creates lines of blue along the margins of streams and lakes. Everything becomes simplified and adorned with white. The deciduous trees stand naked in the almost invisible wind, while the pines, which I refer to as “the old ones,” offer the eternal green contrast to the land. There are the spruces, firs, pines and hemlocks that shelter the smaller creatures. Their needles of green remind us of the lone promise of spring.

Man is the only creature that has imprisoned himself with the concept of time. The animals navigate the weather without the slightest anticipation for tomorrow. A good example is my neighborhood birds. The juncos and chickadees flutter about in below-freezing temperatures without complaint. They emerge from the snow-filled boughs searching for seeds, which I am glad to provide. The majority of their fellow creatures have retreated to the roots to hibernate and await spring. The deer scratch the land for vegetation as the ravens glide across the dimming blue horizon.   

So the snow field is where I go to escape the hounding of throbbing time. I walk over new pristine lands of white. The Archer may rule the winter sky above, but this winter’s evening is solely mine. I walk and wander through a blanket of calm and I am thankful. The blue crystal reflections of the night arrive from the moon’s soft ambiance over the fields, and that is all I need to guide me home before the darkness settles in.

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