Issue 50, Fall 1970
This morning the snow is falling again. It has already filled in the ruts in the drive. The snow makes me happy. Under it tired landscapes concede, errors disappear, and sin is bone under, the whiteness an absolute of infinite possible beginnings.
The baby is still asleep and I wander about the house looking out of the windows. From the kitchen I can see the fields, which go on and on like a vast white sea glazed by sunlight. A pattern of weather has set in. The morning clears and we can watch the spot of sun breaking the gray surround. By early afternoon it closes in again and the gray becomes dotted with white as the snow begins to fail. When the snow is falling the temperature rises as high as 20° but by late afternoon the sky clears and it drops again to zero.
In these warm interludes I take the baby out. She walks over the crust while I break through and flounder in the drifts. It frightens me to imagine I will not be able to climb out of my own footshafts. There I will thrash and make deeper and deeper the cave I am creating, while the baby crawls away to freeze and die.
And I myself to be found in the spring lying in the mud of melted snow. These thoughts are romantic, but not entirely. There is a neighbor down the road but the roads become impassable every few days. Sometimes it takes twenty-four hours for the machines and men to clear them. And often in the spasmodic storms of this strange winter, the electricity goes off, and even the telephone lines go down. Time enough to die.
when the roads are clear and I go to the village I am hungry for my exchange with the grocery clerk. It is revivifying to have this talk with him. We talk about the weather here, and then the weather in other places; we discuss the food I’m buying, he advises me, I pay and go away into the frozen dream of the snow-shrouded days.