We had a good snow last week, a good heavy fall that stayed around due to the cold weather. It was more like ones I remember as a boy. But they came earlier then. In November we would have snows that would provide sledding for many days and snows like that would continue to fall periodically through all the winter months. I loved those snows back then.
I remember one snow of long ago that piled up and came to stay. The wild creatures of the field took shelter wherever they could. Pheasants came at night to roost beneath the low branches of the hemlocks that lined our drive. As I walked down the lane to the school bus stop in the morning and passed close to their place of cover, they would run across the ice-crusted snow and take flight. I would stand and watch as twenty two or twenty three birds repeated that maneuver, one after the other. It was rare to see them in such numbers and so close to our house.
The pheasants are gone from this area now and it seems the snows are gone as well. The only things I have are the memories of them. But to tell the truth, the older I get it seems the less I miss them. I don’t stand up against the cold as well as I used to and it’s a lot harder for me to get around in the winter months. I have a friend who claims to love winter and snow. She laments the fact that the snows do not fall more frequently and in greater quantity. I asked her about that just the other day. “Why do you love winter so?” I asked. In answer she told me how nice it was to curl up by a window with a warm blanket, a bowl of hot soup, a loaf of crusty bread and with classical music on a stereo to watch the snow fall while writing poetry.
I like that sort of thing, too, but I don’t really call that liking winter.