Wandering the savage garden…


It’s snowing.

I was born and raised in the Deep South (meaning: Florida). My relationship with snow is still at the point where I’m amazed and entranced by it. When I drive in it, I have to be really careful, because I like to watch the snow – and driving in snow is like driving in mud, you need to pay attention.

I like everything about snow: the way it falls, the way it sounds – when it’s quiet and when it’s not, I like the cold, I like the brightness of it. Something about snow speaks to me of renewal, even though snow is not, in and of itself, indicative of renewal. I guess when I think of the symbolism of snow, I think of sleep and death – where the renewal is a promise, and the snow only represents the transitory phase between the then and now and the future.

Snow also apparently makes me a bit maudlin and reflective. Thankfully, it also makes me quiet.

I like walking in the snow, too.

When I was young, my father had these giant limestone rocks brought in, which he used to help him build houses (decorative stone on the houses, I guess?) and my friends and I would climb the giant piles of rock. (In Florida, these might as well have been mountains – and who knows? Maybe they were higher than Florida’s lone mountain.)

Walking in the snow reminds me of playing in those rocks – jumping from one to another, we had to worry about footing. The snow has that same air of chance and danger, because it hides what is underneath, and hides also what it can bear until it breaks.

Right now, for example, I could walk out of my front door, and not sink more than one or two inches into the snow (it’s mostly ice). But another snowfall might be completely different – and look exactly the same.

I love that. I don’t know what it says about me that I focus so easily or so completely on the snow, but I do focus easily on it, and it does have the power to capture me nearly completely.

Maybe it is the focus on transition, in my mind – the constant feeling of change, from here to an unknown future. Maybe it’s the simple unfamiliarity. Maybe it’s just that snow is fun… I don’t know.

It’s snowing, and I’m glad of it. I hope it continues to snow.

Also, since I am from the South, one of the best benefits of the snow is that it represents the cold that kills bugs. A good snow means that it’s cold enough to cut down on next summer’s flea and tick (and mosquito) population, as I understand it – and that’s something about which everyone should rejoice.

Can you tell that I’ve hit my invisible 400-word barrier, and where, without counting words? I can. That’s going to be a challenge for me throughout my 500 words journey, I think.

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