To Dream of Spring

It started like the snow in a snow-globe, turned topsy turvy by eager hands. Yesterday’s sky dropped a mesmerizing whirl of big, beautiful flakes like downy feathers, falling straight and true like so many stars, then falling thicker, then accumulating.

A snowfall settles like an enchantment. Dazzling the eyes, the snow transforms. It really is splendid, the way the mundanest of things suddenly become things of surpassing beauty, behind a shimmering curtain of snowflakes. Even a clothespin – a clothespin! – has an otherwordly delight about it, under a dainty cap of snow. So soon, the lines will be heavy with freshly washed laundry, not with snow.

With painterly precision, with spell-binding beauty, the homely ponderosa is made resplendent in a wonderland of white, even as the light is dimming from the sky. Things rusted and worn take on a beauty not their own.

The drab brown of worn out fields and tired earth are covered over with the bright promise of relief, of spring, of the so-needed moisture. Parched earth is mercifully given drink and spirits rise at small answers to prayer. A whirling spring snowfall like this one elevates and cleanses and heals and refreshes and restores.

We walked our normal evening loop, the snow plastering us from head to toe. The snowflakes were sweet on my tongue and easy to catch. I wasn’t wearing a cap with a brim and the snow caught in my eyelashes and flew straight into my eyes and melted all over my face. But the air was kind with coming spring, not bitter with the bite of winter. Even the animals felt it. The pups raced around with insane energy, unphased, unchilled. The horses galloped hill after hill, turning to face me, then running, turning then running, the snowy energy coursing in their veins as well.

And so the sun set on an altered world, asleep under a downy blanket, to dream of spring.

Weekly Photo Roundup | Feb. 19 – 25

After the Storm

Oh, these winter days after a storm. We woke up to a world transformed under the clearest of clear skies. The wind, worn out overnight, gave way to a peaceful calm, but not until leaving those whimsical reminders of its presence, strangely and wildly sculpted drifts of snow and ice, sparkling wickedly in the unmasked winter sunlight. The sky is so blue it looks ages away, yet somehow seems I could reach up and touch it. Not a cloud to be spied. The snow a blinding sheen. Trees laden with icy burdens on every branch, which occasionally slip from their shoulders and disappear in a shimmering cloud.

Our footprints from yesterday were blown away and filled in. Our slash piles have reduced to smoldering heaps of ash. Animals came through the storm unscathed. No calves arrived, which is a blessing in this cold.

I love these days, when 10 degrees feels just right. The relief is apparent, watching the animals move around more comfortably, from the pups to the chickens to the larger livestock. The misery everyone slogged through yesterday has melted away as the temps have crept a little further above zero. Without the biting wind or the stinging snow, it feels oddly springlike.

I love these days, these storms that are gone almost as soon as they arrive, bringing some moisture to the parched earth, reminding us that it still is winter but that springtime isn’t too far off.

I love these days.