Monday, October 12, 2009
Snow beneath whose chilly softness
Some that never lay
Make their first Repose this Winter
I admonish Thee
Blanket Wealthier the Neighbor
We so new bestow
Than thine acclimated Creature
Wilt Thou, Austere Snow?
c. 1864, Emily Dickinson
I don't know how it happened, but Saturday gave us a dusting and this morning, when I woke, I discovered a sheet--not yet a blanket, no, but still, little flakes drifting down--upon our yard. I cringe when I think of the Brussels sprouts I wasted in the garden, the withered pumpkins and squash that won't make it now.
I was just adjusting to autumn--those glorious reds and oranges--and celebrating the briskness of the air. I don't think I'm ready for Minnesota's six months of winter to set in.
Yesterday I put a pot of water to boil on the stove in reaction to those days of dry, itchy skin. In it, I put in cut oranges and lemons and cinnamon, which then smells so festive throughout the house. Am I ready to think pumpkin pie and gingerbread? I love these things, love so much about winter, but the snow has me startled. I should be used to Minnesota's weather by now, but every time it comes around again, I think: Truly? But it's October. And remember my first winter here--snow on the 18th of October, the pain of slipping on my first ice patch, the rounds of wearing long underwear, stepping outside in snow in bare feet. It's all there, all part of my history. Snow in October. Who I am, perhaps, too.