If you're anything like me, you are feeling a bit crestfallen about the false promise of snow this past weekend in NYC. I've enjoyed a thick blanket of calm since the holidays, but I've yet to experience that ultimate quiet - when you wake up to find that everything around you has been silenced by snow - and I find myself craving that right now.
I love the way snow looks of course - that dense white purity which covers everything at the same time as it puts it all into relief - so that, for example, a garden's structure might be visible in a way it wasn't in seasons where myriad textures and colors obscured it. But really I love that first heavy snow fall because it snuffs out all the visual noise of the past year so that we can approach color and texture with fresh eyes, with a renewed interest in the structure and architecture of things.
Snow silences a scape in some ways at the same time as it reveals it in others. We see for the first time, the arc or the reach of a Hemlock limb, the lattice and snarl of vines climbing up a building and made skeletal by snow, we see a constellation of small boulders in a field. And, it is simply beautiful and calming and pure. I can't think of a time we've needed that more.
So I say bring the storms. Let's be snowed in for a day! Let's look at the outside world from behind our windows at first, and notice all the things we've never noticed and that snow fall has brought into high relief. And later, when we've taken those ghosts of summer in, the grasses tumbled by snow, those forgotten and spindly Echinacae and Eryngium now crowned with ice, let's venture out into it for the sensation of cold on our cheeks, that feeling of scraping fallowed by thaw from the snow that slips into our boots and chafes our bare skin. Let's have our slates wiped clean so we can first reflect then go out into the new with clear minds.