Snow Day: ‘Why, How, Whence Such Beauty and What the Meaning’ (Mary Oliver)

When I went into the blizzard sweeping the East Coast the second day of Spring, I was surprised to find so many people hanging out or happily at work on all sorts of creations…

Sally Schneider

…including a rough, beautiful snow fort…

Sally Schneider

By rolling a rectangle of snow over and over on itself, the builders created squarish bundles of snow with the echoes of a spiral in the interior…

Sally Schneider

…they were the “blocks” for the fort…

Sally Schneider

 

…one made, and put in place, after another…

I remember spending hours building forts and igloos. Once they were finished, they were incredibly restful to hang out in (snow is quiet, and keeps you warm)…

Sally Schneider

As I wandered through the field, I saw many snow people…some big, built by that snow-rolling method that incorporates some earth… branches turned to expressions of JOY…

Sally Schneider

…some were tiny, like this snow lady…

Sally Schneider

…Some seemed to be made in relation to another…

Sally Schneider

The best: seeing a man intently working on his massive snow sculpture…

 

People seemed so content in the snow today, as though all cares were gone.

Though it was most likely the last snow of the long winter, it reminded me of Mary Oliver’s poem First Snow…

 

The snow

began here

this morning and all day

continued, its white

rhetoric everywhere

calling us back to why, how,

whence, such beauty and what

the meaning; such

an oracular fever! flowing

past windows, an energy it seemed

would never ebb, never settle

less than lovely! and only now

deep into night,

it has finally ended.

The silence

is immense,

and the heavens still hold

a million candles; nowhere

the familiar things:

the stars, the moon,

the darkness we expect

and nightly turn from. Trees

glitter like castles

of ribbons, the broad fields

smolder with light, a passing

creekbed lies

heaped with shining hills;

and though the questions

that have assailed us all day

remain–not a single

answer has been found–

walking out now

into the silence and the light

under the trees,

and through the fields,

feels like one.

 

5 Responses to Snow Day: ‘Why, How, Whence Such Beauty and What the Meaning’ (Mary Oliver)

  1. gallagher 03.22.2018 at 6:14am #

    Beautiful Post,…
    i almost wrote ‘Song’.

    It’s sö nice,
    being able to live Life,
    seasoned with the words of Poems.

    ,…and such great photos.

    Beautiful post.
    thank you.

  2. Vaughan Greene 03.22.2018 at 8:02am #

    Lovely post. You made my morning.
    Snow, one of the great unifiers. Beauty does that.
    Thanks.

  3. Anthony Giglio 03.22.2018 at 9:06am #

    Oh, Sally! What a wonderful, wondrous, beautiful post!

    Of course, it immediately brought to mind my son Marco’s snow man that you wrote about… 8 lightning-fast years ago, here: https://www.improvisedlife.com/2010/03/02/snow-being/

    This made my morning!

  4. tannaz 03.22.2018 at 1:44pm #

    Such a lovely post. This all seems so exotic to me in Los Angeles!

  5. Sally Schneider 03.23.2018 at 10:03am #

    Was that great Marco-made snow man 8 years ago???? Yikes!

    Snow is also evidence of time flying and transience. The next day, all those creations were just about gone…

    I’m glad we caught ’em.

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