Archive for the ‘solitude’ Category


Snow Day

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“Anything is Possible on a Snow Day”

Just as the above tag line from the movie says, anything is possible on a snow day. Recently, Mother Nature, with the help of the ‘snow dance’, treated us to a rare middle Georgia snow day, thus proving that anything is possible—even for hell (if we witches believed in hell) to freeze over.

The storm gains strength, spreads, and grows.

Let the temperature drop and icy Boreas blow.

Let it snow; let it snow; let it snow.

Or, something along those lines read the operative part of the spell. Someone asked to see this ‘snow dance’ of mine, which brought such cold and snow to the hellish Georgia clime. To that request I demurred because sure, I show you, you show someone else, then that person shows someone else, and on and on until the next thing you know, we’re in the middle of another ice age. Wait. That’s not a bad thing.

Last week, schools closed; people, as though they were swarm of locusts, stripped bare supermarket shelves; and masses donned parkas and mukluks at the mere threat of snow. So while soccer moms with their 1.3 units of precious cargo, panicked, crashed, and rolled SUVs (because people in Georgia can’t drive on dry pavement let alone wet or icy roads), the local media warned of impending disaster comparable to Armageddon (stay inside; don’t go out if you don’t have to; it’s extremely cold and treacherous out there), I waited.

I waited.

Nary had a flake fallen yet from the slate gray sky.

Then it started: rain mixed with snow.

That turned to snow falling on Georgia pines.

The next day, the world had changed; for, anything is possible on a snow day. Like a little girl, my wife made a snowman; and, I decided to go for a walk with my dog.

We, my dog, Gaia, and I, entered a cathedral of white, and silence of the mind. The cold damp air, and the warm and moist exhalations of breaths mingled steamily in the air. The silent snow insulated us in this new world as though sound itself couldn’t penetrate the threshold of the forest cocoon. I could finally hear the silence.

Everywhere branches ‘boughed’ low over the trail, forming hanging vaults of green and snow. Whereas sound was hushed, I gained secret knowledge of the world hitherto unseen and known only to my dogs nose. In the snow, beneath bushes, or following the now mostly hidden trail, were signs of life, or at least life that had passed that way. There were rabbit tracks, mice, raccoon, squirrels, and some that I wasn’t quite sure what they were, and one mysterious path worn down in the snow. My dog enthusiastically sniffed these signs, trying to follow whatever animal had made those tracks and I for once had a glimpse into her personal world of scents. The snow allowed me to see what only she could smell and allowed me to understand why she finds each pile of leaves, every tuft of grass, and mounds of pine needles so intriguing.

Our walk took us along a two-mile loop of this private world apart from the mundane. That park was not place, and that time we walked was not time; we were between worlds—separate yet connected to all. My dog, and I met other shamanic souls walking the along the park trail plane, seemingly friendlier, happier, at least for a time, caught as we were in the spirituality of the moment.

However, all things must end—even a snow day.

For with the warming and brightening of the day, the snow was melting, receding into memory, like the remembrance of trees long ago felled, or the sighs of lost lovers, and missed chances, stories that you would never tell and the cacophony of everyday existence was bleeding into my consciousness. Suddenly, I could again hear constant background traffic noise; the noncommittal grunts of non-acknowledgement of passersby once again caught up in their own mean little cell phone melodramas, and a growing stale taste in my mouth of waste and stagnation that we call progress. I arrived home to find my wife’s snowman, mostly gone in the climate-changed sun, bent low, and leaning on a stick arm for support, a wasted vestige of his former self.

I believe more was lost on this day than just one snowman. I think with him, the last of our childhood memories of a simpler and fairer world, of a time when time hadn’t worn down our ideals and dreams, of what we could have been, or at least would have like to be, that is what was lost. Like the melting snows, trickling down into the earth below, these remembrances seeped away leaving us bent a little bowed, and perhaps even a little broken. But, like the snow which will return someday when the sky turns cold, slate, and gray to once again deliver to us a soul-saving snow day. Perhaps on that day, we’ll remember, we’ll hope, we’ll dream, we’ll dare to say:

“On a snow day anything is possible.”