Forecasts can be wrong, so we went to bed on Wednesday night expecting some snow on Thursday. Being an insomniac, I was up often that night, and I could see that our blasé attitude was going to be proven wrong: it was snowing hard.
By morning, the snow was deep…31 inches, and still snowing. Winter in the North Country. I had seen photographs of my husband and his family in the upstate New York winters of the ’60’s and ’70’s; the enormous snowbanks of Scott’s youth seemed a thing of the past, as I had never seen anything like it in my as yet short tenure at the farm. But…here it was again.
The last few days were all about clearing pathways to the barn, the pole barns, anywhere where access was vital. The town snow plow broke down a fourth of the way up our hill, and our driveway remained untouched for two days. Hardly anything seemed to be moving at all, even the skies were silent.
There was something healing about that silence, about the intense but quiet physical work just to enable daily life, and the satisfied exhaustion which followed. It’s been such a noisy year – full of distractions, anxiety, stress. For a brief moment in time, here on this remote farm, I felt completely at peace, these lines of poetry echoing a quiet beat:
“In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow,
In the bleak midwinter, long ago.”