Friday, March 28, 2008

Snow day in March

Wet, sticky snow, the Inuit undoubtedly have a word for it - the kind that sticks to things like Velcro, turning everything into a reverse negative of itself; that's the stuff we've got here this morning. Everyone is sick of it by now, although it's beauty is undeniable. I love the silence as it falls, a testimony to the temporary state of noise and the timelessness of a vacuum. We're living inside one of those magical crystal balls again, but we've had enough, thank you. Send it to the Wilkinson Ice Shelf, which is in danger of falling off and adding fuel to the fire of a warming planet.

Maple syrup producers are happy; snow cover in March delays budding on the maple trees. Last winter there was no snow to speak of and the maples budded in early February, drying off the run of sap. The snow insulates the roots, keeping them cool, the way it's supposed to be, apparently.

But we used to plant out our potatoes by St. Patrick's when we lived in West Cork. We want to dig, smell the beautiful rich smell of black earth as the spade turns it up. We have some leggy leek and cabbage seedlings on the kitchen and dining room windowsills, some potato seed in the basement in a couple plastic Walmart bins with holes punched in them for air. Everything's primed for spring, but old man winter ain't giving up that easily, this year. Good for him, I say. Deep down I'm always sad when the last of the snow goes. It makes me think of Frosty the Snowman melting. Even though I know he comes back again some day, part of me isn't ready for goodbyes.
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