The Gentle Transformations of Snow

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Of course the near-landscape is transformed: parked cars morph into snow-banks, streets and sidewalks are conjoined, one walks in one as well as in the other. The view to blue water is set off by billows and borders of white. As flakes drift steadily down, no matter which way you look, all lines between earth and sky are dissolved.

Inhabitants seem cheered by it all. One, dusting off his car, says cheerily, “Another day in paradise.” A septuagenarian sipping coffee as I wait in line says, “I kicked snow all the way here.” She was gently transformed. For an hour or so, she would be a kid.

As I waited to order a middle aged bundled woman said to no one in particular, “Oh, I forgot my wallet, I’ll be back in a minute.” But she had just trudged through cold and snow to arrive, and however happily in snow, just then coffee was on her mind. Although she was a stranger, I said without losing a beat, “Let me buy you one.” She was surprised, I was surprised, and I attribute any generosity in the air to the snow in the air. We exchanged names and chatted about dogs and snow.

As I returned, coffee in hand, to my flat, oblivious whether I was walking on streets or sidewalks or space in between, without exception people called out from under their muffling caps and scarfs (it was 10 degrees Fahrenheit). We hailed each other as friendly wayfarers in the gentle, slightly windswept whiteness. The snow had lightened our spirits and brought in good cheer.

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Everywhere, it invited quiet and rest and welcome.

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