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To Snow ~ A fond farewell
by Beth Boswell Jacks

"Like an army defeated
The snow hath retreated"
~ William Wordsworth

As I sat at my computer one day last week, typing away, snow covered the ground outside like a fluffy white blanket. Looked darn alluring out there.

I was inspired after admiring the vista and reading a comment from Henry David Thoreau, who wrote, "I frequently tramped eight or ten miles through the deepest snow to keep an appointment with a beech tree, or a yellow birch, or an old acquaintance among the pines."

Ahh, the seduction of poetic words and Mother Nature!

Therefore, tugging on my forest green Wally World rubber boots, I set out to take a hike in the snow, hoping to become one with nature, heading over to Lake Nottalottawatta, my very own Walden Pond.

The water in the lake was half frozen, and the wind whipped in from the north. My eyes watered; my cheeks stung; my nose ran; I was blind and breathless. Right away, a wilderness adventure was no longer calling my name. No way was I going to risk hypothermia, so I didn't battle the elements long. I turned around and scooted back to the house fast as a jack rabbit. I can move pretty "swuft" when I'm frantic.

So much for Thoreau and a romantic rendezvous with pines and birches - we don't have any of those on the lake anyway.

Like a sane person then, I continued to admire our abundant snowfall from the comforts of a warm house. I'd had quite enough of arctic temps.

Perhaps some Snippets readers in other areas missed the blizzards this winter. If so, those folks are in the minority. We've had two big snowfalls here on Lake Nottalottawatta, and I confess I'm hoping there will be no more flurries in 2011. Folks move south to get away from this stuff, you know, and I understand why.

If I sound like Scrooge, I apologize. I truly like snow . . . from a distance. It's beautiful and calming and great fun for the young at heart. In addition, as writer Clyde Moore observed, "One good thing about snow is that it makes your lawn look as nice as your neighbors'."

Snow also tends to bring out the poet and philosopher in us, which is pleasing, in spite of my failed attempt at hiking in Thoreau's boot tracks. "Snowflakes are kisses from heaven," claims one anonymous poet. (Well, yeah, but I'm partial to kisses a bit warmer.) Then there's the old proverb that goes, "A year of snow, a year of plenty." Mother Earth will soak up all that melted ice and snow and bless us with abundant spring flowers and summer vegetables. Praise God for that!

Yes, several inches of snow covered the ground last week, but the melt came quickly. Within hours, gravel in the driveway peeped through small patches of glittering crystals, and the road past our little farm changed from pristine white to a sloshy mess, no longer a great white way. After another day of sunshine, no evidence of the fluffy blanket remained.

Will I miss it? No. Am I glad we had it? Yes. Will I be happy to see it again NEXT winter? You betcha -- once or twice, no more than 36 hours per sprinkling.

Remember this admonishment from poet and artist John Ruskin: "Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces us up, snow is exhilarating; there is really no such thing as bad weather!"

No such thing as bad weather, right, unless you're a shivering, quivering Thoreau wannabe with a runny nose and frozen toes. I believe I'd rather sit by the fire, gaze out the window periodically at the lovely snow-covered countryside . . . and read all about it.


For more SNIPPETS stories, read these:
Land of Nod Notes
Rabbit, Rabbit...
Spring Cleaning ~ Here We Go 'Round In Circles
Conquering the Wild Blue Yonder
Trail rides, cantles and beans...Hellooo, Mama!
A Towel Piece ~ A Tribute
Ben Skelton: Peace Corps Volunteer
Smiles, Not Fists...
Dance ~ the Soul's Hidden Language
Class Reunion Advice
Searching for the Inner Animal
It Was a Dark and Stormy... you know
Granny Does the Shoshone
Forget Your Troubles ~ C'mon, Get Older!
How to Eat Crawdads
Thanksgiving Humor - Granny's Confession
A Tribute to Marjorie Haggart Jacks
Lesson of the Geese

For stories at USADS by columnist Beth Boswell Jacks, click here: SNIPPETS
And find even more here: MORE SNIPPETS

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