March Snow


Waiting for snow today. And the only thing more poignant than March snow is the “cruelest month’s” snow come April. With a few spring-like days behind us, winter’s fate is already taken for granted. No one takes it entirely seriously when it drops snowfall heavy and wet and weary, the cold sweat of a few months’ work already weighing its skies.

None know this better than the red-winged black birds I have already heard in the marsh behind us this week. The bands of robins who arrive earlier and earlier each year. The sleep-deprived black bear whose hibernation grows shorter and shorter each carbon-cankered winter.

So bring it on. It will be pretty on the witch hazel buds already reddening. The tiger lily shoots already prowling at dawn for spring sun. The white pine’s ever-gentle green.

Drivers will tolerate snow with an amused look now. Some might even hit the brakes in the parking lot at work, sneaking in a final skid and swerve. A little fun late in life, both the driver’s and the winter’s. A little reminisce of distant teenaged days. A final toast to snow that’s slow to go, that hangs on to life like all living things do.

We all enjoy a good fight to the end. An underdog. A snow whose life story is already written and ready for the press. Thus, our subconscious tolerance for snow like today’s, as beautiful as November’s first snow, after all.

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