The sky darkens. The air fills our lungs. Clouds roll over the ice floes in battalions to caress the granite and schist. Twilight falls, and the shadows of the mountains loom and engulf us. It is about to snow. The dance begins. Thousands of butterflies, evanescent, splash the sidewalks and buffet the face. A swarm of crystals, a squadron even. A white griffin muffles the horizon with its coat of rustling fur, and we are blinded by the lingering flash. The winter lights spill forth their lux. All the earth’s a stage, a ski jump front and center. We slide and tumble in the powdery snow that swallows us, smothers us. Perilous beauty. Bristling with hidden outcrops and ledges, slippery slopes and avalanches, snow is a passionate companion, but a treacherous friend, trapping you in its crevasses; a temptress. Yet enthrallingfir trees, tundra, permafrost, icicles, sugarplum thrills and igloo dreams.
And so, before it thaws and the whiteness melts away, cast reason to the wind. If snow were black and asphalt brilliant white; if the night shone and the world were flat; if the flakes alighting on our lips had the taste of licorice, the inky specks of blackness catching in our eyelashes would make our heads spin. Silence would resonate to the sound of a thousand drums and the snowy mantle would warm, not chill, our skin. Gusts of wind would deposit their sooty fragments over us and winter flickering with myriad logs would become a fireworks display. Snow is magical kindle for the mind. Powdered sugar fallen from the sky. Twinkling wonderment, arms outstretched, childhood in cupped hands. “Look, Mom, it’s snowing.”