By Buffy Calvert
“Snow is falling, snow on snow on snow…”.(1) Every time I step out on the porch I must sweep a new mantel from the boards and stone steps. My boots crunch on the thinly packed layer left by the busy snow blowers. My dog, Chris, nips mouthfuls, scalloping the edges. The little, newly planted trees that dot the village glisten and sway in the wind while the old trees lord it over them: mighty maples boasting snow-crowned robins’ nests on their bare branches, majestic Norway spruces garlanded with ermine.
At the December 8th Tree Lighting, a brazier of roasting chestnuts lured carolers down the slippery, snowy slope. The library glowed, beckoning everyone in for hot chocolate and cookies after the last notes of “Winter Wonderland” floated on the frosty air and Santa leapt from his fire truck to promise the little ones their hearts’ desires.
Last year, winter came in February. This year, by mid-December, children had already enjoyed two snow days for sledding and an ice day; weather advisories postponed events and we sat by our firesides snug in the “tumultuous privacy of snow.”(2) Braver souls skied out to work. In earlier times, Gordie Krick’s mother skied up Pink Street from her South Kortright farm to the school she taught in Bovina Center. And, more recently, Laurie McIntosh skied down from Bobcat to the Andes Public Library.
Our forebears longed for the “deep and drifted snow”(3) to cushion the swift sleigh runners. This year on December 8th, the Jaakson clan celebrated the life of their late matriarch, Enna, born in frigid Estonia, with a winter bonfire. It’s beautiful out there! So sharpen your skates, strap on your snowshoes, wax your skis or just pull on your boots and go out to enjoy it!
1. Christina Rossetti, “In the Bleak Midwinter”
2. Ralph Waldo Emerson, “The Snow Storm”
3. Lydia Maria Child, “Over the River and Through the Woods”