Yesterday we had a long snowfall, hours of it floating peacefully by the window as I finished making Christmas presents and packed them up to mail. I have no idea whether indigenous Alaskans have hundreds of different words for snow or not, but judging by what fell past my window, they should have. It varied from almost gritty fineness to fat puffs; from white to grey; from sparse to heavy. It varied in how fast it built up, how much it blew around, and how much in glittered in reflected light.

It did not vary in how deeply happy it made me. Sitting in this chair, at this window,


blue morning snow

I have seen the hundreds of narcissus I planted blooming in April; the progression of flowers from foxgloves in May to asters in September; the bright leaves of October and the elegant bare branches of November. And now there is the snow, decorating the last standing seedheads and smoothing all things low and rough into voluptuous cushions. I put on my big coat full of feathers and took a little walk in it, leaving the packages to be mailed in the morning.

It is that morning now, the snow no longer falling and the roads all plowed.

deer tracks

deer tracks

The sun’s not over the pinetrees yet, the light soft and blue. Looking out the window I can see where the deer have foraged among those standing seedheads. Much as I complain about the deer, I hope they found something to eat.

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