It’s been sleeting here all the night before and into this afternoon. Snow and wind are predicted for later this evening and into the night. Every tree and branch is coated with a layer of glass, and the barnyard gate needs a mug of hot water before the latch is willing to yield. I managed to get the sheep out of the big barn and up to the shelter of the pole barn for the day, and I can see them now, sitting all lined up in front of their now-empty hayrack, gazing out at the valley in serene rumination. Even Bowie, immune to bad weather in her bear-like coat, is staying in the barn for a change.
Other than the steady thrum of sleet against windowpanes, and the occasional whoosh as snow slides off the roof, it is quiet. I have not seen a single car make its way up or down the valley, or the hill where the farm sits. I have books, embroidery, and knitting by my side, and no other plans than to stay by the fire while the storm does what it must do. Being snowbound has its gifts.
Snow-Bound by John Greenleaf Whittier
All day the gusty north-wind bore The loosening drift its breath before; Low circling round its southern zone, The sun through dazzling snow-mist shone. No church-bell lent its Christian tone To the savage air, no social smoke Curled over woods of snow-hung oak. A solitude made more intense By dreary voiced elements, The shrieking of the mindless wind, The moaning tree-boughs swaying blind, And on the glass the unmeaning beat Of ghostly finger-tips of sleet. Beyond the circle of our hearth No welcome sound of toil or mirth Unbound the spell, and testified Of human life and thought outside. We minded that the sharpest ear The buried brooklet could not hear, The music of whose liquid lip Had been to us companionship, And, in our lonely life, had grown To have an almost human tone.