On Friday, slipping and sliding through troughs of ice and snow while carrying bags of hay and buckets of hay, I decided that I was DONE with winter. Even mud season was more welcome.
Early on Saturday morning, however, I was mesmerized once again by the gifts winter brings:
Manna by Joseph Stroud Everywhere, everywhere, snow sifting down, a world becoming white, no more sounds, no longer possible to find the heart of the day, the sun is gone, the sky is nowhere, and of all I wanted in life – so be it – whatever it is that brought me here, chance, fortune, whatever blessing each flake of snow is the hint of, I am grateful, I bear witness, I hold out my arms, palms up, I know it is impossible to hold for long what we love of the world, but look at me, is it foolish, shameful, arrogant to say this, see how the snow drifts down, look how happy I am.
Soon enough, the landscape will be varieties of brown; pasture paths will be treacherous with muck and sludge; and the clean, crisp smell of winter will give way to earthier and less pleasant ones. For a long stretch of months, we will be once again awash in the seasons of color; winter’s stark whites and blacks, downy snow and biting cold, will recede from memory without any sense of regret or loss. After all, winter will be back here in the North Country before too long.
But, this one morning, I celebrate its manna once again.