Winter - Snowfall

Snowfall

The snow fell thickly late today. For the first time this winter, it accumulated in a chimerical blanket of frozen whiteness. On the trees, the snow hung like white icing on an ornate wedding cake or confectioner’s sugar on equally elaborate Christmas cookies. Later on in the evening, under the back porch light, the white carpet took on a sparkling, bejeweled appearance. I hadn’t seen this thick of snowfall since my childhood; still, none of the magic had been lost or diminished.

The softly falling flakes still evoke wonderment as if seen with a child’s discovering eyes and innocent heart. The urge to fall and sweep the arms creating snow angels is almost too difficult to resist. The beauty of freshly fallen snow, especially in a rural setting, sometimes overwhelms the heart with the fresh, clean patina it lends all that it touches.

The quiet it engenders (again here in the country) warms the heart if not the outer layers of skin that may come in contact. My memories of urban snowfall tend to tarnish this poetic idyll. I have vivid recollections of slush-filled gutters and dirt encrusted snow piles left by ever-diligent snowplows. “None of this poetry for us, pal. We’ve got a job to do!” seems to be their assiduous call.

Here in rural east Virginia there isn’t much snow but what there is seems to arise out of a Charles Ives landscape. All that’s missing is a horse drawn sleigh with a bundled driver and two rosy-cheeked occupants. Soon, the unremitting rime will make all this seem moot: a toss between comforting warmth and relentless chill.

There is also the shifting weather pattern in these latitudes. Just days ago the sun warmed a nearby field, leaving it as a broad greensward. Now, after the snow, it formed a swathe of glistening frozen particles. Still a sward, yes, but now one of gleaming white to replace the verdant topography. Even now, the warming sun persisted in transforming the snow-encrusted pines. Slowly the branches of the evergreens were being relieved of their frozen burdens causing the snow, in great puffs, to drift earthward like ghostly apparitions.

All of these observations give the snow more of a magical quality than perhaps is inherent. The snow has its intrinsic qualities, to be sure, that engender enchantment. Yet, it seems this meteorological phenomenon wants the capability of the heart to loose its captivating qualities. Of course, the snow like the tree falling in the forest should not need a human being to validate its existence.

Nonetheless, it is tough to deny the heart’s role in the comprehension of its beauty. As with the fallen tree, some would say the sound has existence despite the lack of an ear as a receptacle to acknowledge it. So too, the snow may have its own beauty without the transformative powers of the heart but with one what heights of splendor may it reach?

Winter - Snowfall

stephen hewitt

Lanexa, United States

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Artist's Description

The role of the heart in appreciating beauty. Winter installment to Seasons series

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