Thursday, January 18, 2007

It was the first snow of the season . . .

Looking out the window as I write this post, I see the first flakes of snow to hit New York this winter. Someone told me that New York hasn't gone this long without snow since the 19th century, and one could reasonably query whether the stuff falling right now really counts as snow - it certainly looks like snow when it's in the air, but it seems to dissolve by the time it hits the ground. A few minutes ago, I greeted the minister of the house, Father Greg Muckenhaupt, as he walked through the front door, umbrella in hand. "Is it raining or snowing?" I asked. "It's going back and forth," Greg said. And yet, as I write these words, the flakes outside are looking a bit more robust than they did when I saw Greg or when I started this post. This snow may be feeble compared to the winter Nor'easters of my childhood or the lake-effect storms I lived through in South Bend, but it still claims pride of place as the first snow New York has seen this winter.

For me, the first snowfall of the season has a siren song quality to it - I can't help but be enchanted by that first sight of snowflakes floating earthward and (on days other than this one) the vision of a landscape (or cityscape) being slowly covered by an unblemished blanket of white snow. In due time, however, the sense of wonder that often accompanies the season's first snowfall gives way to irritation as newly-fallen snow morphs into salty, slushy, muddy muck. Winter is in many respects the dirtiest season, and snow is what makes it such. Even so, there are few times as magical as the first moments of the first snow of the season. Right now, I'm savoring those moments - half-hoping, perhaps, that this late and rather light first snow presages a particularly mild winter. AMDG.


At 1/21/2007 12:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I saw the first snowflakes from the window of my airplane and I was not happy to be leaving!


Post a Comment

<< Home