January 12, 2009

Snow Daze

My friend Fay called this morning and asked, "How's the weather out there?" I said, "It's beautiful today! Blue skies and sunshine . . . Well, we did get 10 inches of snow over the weekend, and it's only 18 degrees right now, but it's gorgeous!"

I keep thinking that I can't wait until the temperature reaches 40. Oh, what joyous celebrations we will have then.

How my attitude toward weather has changed in just six short months.

On Sunday R pulled Buckaroo around in the snow on the little metal disc. He giggled and gasped and generally held tight. It was a sweet sight. Buckaroo doesn't like the snow covering everything and feels a need to clean it all away. This must have come from his father's side of the family.

R worked hard in the snow, shoveling a path around our cars and then down the lane that Sweet Potato takes to meet her ride to the bus stop. He also shoveled a tunnel through one of the snow banks and eventually Buckaroo worked up the gumption to crawl through it.

Meanwhile Sweet Potato has been busy creating a video game. We discovered a web site that teaches kids computer programming so that it doesn't seem like work. She's digging it.

On Saturday we took the kidlets to the Ecotarium, a science discovery museum in Worcester (Buckaroo especially liked the train, and Sweet Potato was a bit freaked out by the taxidermy). On the way there we saw the crazy ice storm damage. Every other tree is snapped in half like a toothpick with the top branches dangling there upside down. The snapped birch trees look like rubbed out cigarette butts.

As I looked closer, though, I noticed that many of the broken stumps had bird nests built at the tippy tops. They reminded me of an excellent Mary Oliver poem, which I will now share with all of you:

The Rabbit


Scatterghost,
it can't float away.
And the rain, everybody's brother,
won't help. And the wind all these days
flying like ten crazy sisters everywhere
can't seem to do a thing. No one but me,
and my hands like fire,
to lift him to a last burrow. I wait


days, while the body opens and begins
to boil. I remember


the leaping in the moonlight, and can't touch it,
wanting it miraculously to heal
and spring up joyful. But finally


I do. And the day after I've shoveled
the earth over, in a field nearby


I find a small bird's nest lined pale
and silvery and the chicks—
are you listening, death?—warm in the rabbit's fur.

Mary Oliver

That last line catches in my throat every time.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I had to wait til a quiet moment to reread the poem. (3:40am always seems about right.) I knew I had missed the tenderness and insolence somewhere in the kids' screaming. I found it, thank you. Sniff, sniff, FMF