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Snow Ago

Spring snow

Spring snow

A week ago it snowed. Fat flakes as big as goose feathers drifted by with urgency, determined to get down to earth, where they melted. A friend and I were to have gone on a hike today but she is that much-beloved Northwest stereotype: the first snowflake freakout.It’s not going to stick,I said, or something like it, but I was more amused than anything. The level of panic here is the muted Northwest passive-aggressive sternly-worded-letter sort of distress, far better than the Texas brand of whitestreak panic. We will hike another time.

It falls so quick and fast I can’t see across the street, but only for a minute. Bright overcast makes the snow unreal, a movie set effect, but it’s really there, snowing. I take some pictures and watch it.

I still love snow. Even now I’m not sure how well I understand my level of eight-year-old disappointment in moving someplace where winter didn’t happen until January, if at all. The natives had heard tell of snow and regarded it as some fearful enemy, a poison terror. All the sleds and toboggans and metal saucer slider things and boots and coats and mittens sat in the attic, the space now cool enough from summer’s absence to enter and look at. I was angry and sad in the plain way a kid is. What kinda place is this?

Years that brought snow were a homecoming. A few streets over the Big Hill had great sledding, especially given there were more ice storms than snow. The snow was middling most years it came but you could make a snowball or two. I could get coats and boots and the sleds down from the attic and become a professional. Most kids stood around in their unbuttoned coats (why don’t you button your coat if it’s cold?) with their ya’ll’re crazy and eyit’s cawld and fleeing inside in from the barely subfreezing, but the few of us from somewhere else flew down the hill and were back in Quincy, Nashua, Uxbridge.

This snow won’t stick. Others closer to the mountains report a little snow every morning in this unusually cool spring, but this is all I’ve had. It’s sunny now, maybe sixty again today. I’ve been here long enough I like the sun now too.




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