Whose woods these are, I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening – Robert Frost
It's one thing to return to Boston and another to return in winter in time for a huge blizzard. They call this type of storm a nor'easter. I haven't experienced snow and bone-chilling cold for a long, long time. Somehow, I'm just not appreciating it the way I should. I've had brief moments of nostalgia as I caught snowflakes on my tongue and thought about all the forts and snowmen I built as a kid. The fond memories dissipated quickly when I was brushing off the car and copious amount of the freezing white stuff filled up my borrowed boots.
I'd always heard that the native Inuit people of the Arctic region have ~400 words for snow. In actuality, that's an urban myth, there's less, but still they know their snow. They have closer to 50 maybe … about as many as I have. There's powder, wet snow, heavy snow, damned snow, I'm sick of snow. I could go on, but you get the gist. This snow, by the way, was heavy, wet and sticky … snowball snow.
It started snowing about three days ago. At times, visibility was 0 and it snowed horizontally, thanks to the wind. The weather forecast called for 4-8” and was revised several times as the 8”, then 12”, then 15” marks were met and exceeded. It looks like about 20” total fell and it's a proverbial winter wonderland out there. Along the seacoast, exceptionally high tides and winds swept away a home which had been sitting precariously on an eroded cliff … just snatched it up and sucked it away. There was lots of coastal flooding and beach erosion. Here, a bit more inland, there are lots of broken branches and downed trees and deep, heavy snow.
I do remember the quiet, muffled sounds in a post-snowstorm neighborhood, the snow insulating us from noise. No traffic on the unplowed roads; just the occasional sound of someone shoveling in the distance. The quiet was palpable. Despite the dark gray skies, the brightness of the reflected snow hurt my eyes. All that white. The evergreen boughs bent way over, straining with their load. Icicles dangled from the eaves and tiny branches. It's that way here at the moment.
I had to memorize Robert Frost's poem as a child. For all my complaining, I did watch my sister's woods fill up with snow. It was beautiful.
As an aside, David is working and sweltering in Adelaide. We'd like to exchange a little of his Adelaide heat for some of my Boston cold, but we haven't figured out quite how.
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