15 Qudrat 165 B.E. (Baha’i Calendar)
Soundtrack in my head: Galaxie 500, “Listen, the Snow Is Falling”
I walked outside my old co-op house at about 7 p.m. tonight and was delighted to see cascades of snowflakes falling from the sky. The streetlamps lighting up downtown Madison revealed night air filled with little moving white dots that felt as alive as they were quiet. They were sticking to the ground and making lawns, cars, and rooftops white, but not really accumulating much beyond that.
It was a beautiful sight. I’m not sure what it is about snowfall that is so peaceful. Maybe it’s the whiteness that seems so pure. Maybe it’s the way that snowflakes often float slowly to the ground. Maybe it’s how snow makes little in the way of noise as it comes down.
When you really think about it, it’s interesting how the weather evolves from summer to winter. September and October offer a welcome respite from the heat. As October grows colder, though, it seems as if she makes it up to us with the beautiful fall colors. The colors remained here in southern Wisconsin fairly late–really only up until about a week ago. A lot of people complain bitterly about November, but I find it peaceful, as I described in a post a couple of days ago.
It feels like snow–at least the early snowfalls–are another way Nature recompenses us for putting up with the cold weather. Sometimes I think of snowfall as healing tears–that Nature is crying with us but that it is the type of crying that makes us feel better, that allows us to let go. At other times, snow feels like a celebration–think confetti coming down during a ticker-tape parade. Maybe it’s simply the case that snow is beautiful when it first falls.
I hope I will be able to see more of the beauty of winter this coming season. For the previous six winters, I’ve lived in downtown Madison on a street so heavy with traffic that we’d occasionally see significant traffic backups, and the presence of so many cars took away from the enjoyment of winter. The snow got dirty quickly. Now I live on a quiet street where cars drive through only occasionally. I have a feeling that when it snows, things will stay whiter, longer, and create a more peaceful and beautiful blanket across the land.