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Big Chill Day Six [Dec. 9th, 2013|05:55 pm]
Going shopping today I got to see the gray snow along the roadsides. The closer one gets to the busiest parts of town, the darker the roadside snow becomes. The plowed berm along my street has barely lost its pristine whiteness, but along Safeway's driveway it is like heaped ash.

I had an errand near the lowest part of town, at an elevation some 800 feet lower than my house, and there it seemed so warm that I was tempted to remove my jacket. I didn't, of course. I recall returning to Los Angeles from a few days in San Francisco one December, and it seemed so mild that I went out in shirtsleeves and ended up with a bad cold. I learned that lesson.

But as mild as the low end of town felt compared to this end, the snow has persisted even there. The piney hillsides sported spots of it, and the open fields more, and even a few rooftops of well-insulated houses were at least partly white. On my street, every house still wears a white cap, and even my jasmine hedge is still partly hidden with mounds the leaves haven't been able to shed.

This evening the clear sky has half a moon, and even now that night has fallen the moonlight makes the snow bright. That nocturnal luminance is my favorite thing about snow. If the ice that now underlays it were not so treacherous, I'd go for a walk, but I should content myself with standing for a while on the back porch, watching the moon.

Tonight will be freezing again, and tomorrow will continue cold, but tomorrow night could stay in the mid-thirties, and Wednesday's high might reach fifty degrees. That will be the end of the really cold spell, though I'm sure there will still be some snow on the ground for several days yet. I'm not looking forward to seeing the mass of soggy mulberry leaves that will emerge from the melting snow in the front yard. Once they've been exposed, a few warm, sunny days could dry them enough to make raking them less onerous, but I'm not expecting that. And I'm certainly not looking forward to this month's gas bill.

Because I didn't go shopping yesterday, I forgot that it was Sunday, so here's this:

Belated Sunday Verse


by R. S. Thomas

Evening. A fire
in the grate and a fire
outside, where a robin
is burning. How they both
sing, offering a friendship
unacceptable to the hand
that is as vulnerable to the one
as it is treacherous to the other.

Ah, time, enemy of their music,
reducing fuel to feathers, feathers
to ash, it was, but a moment ago,
spring in this tinder: flames
in flower that are now embers
on song's hearth.
The leaves fall
from a dark tree, brimming
with shadow, fall on one who,
as Borges suggested,
is no more perhaps than the dream God
in his loneliness is dreaming.


[User Picture]From: daisydumont
2013-12-10 05:43 pm (UTC)
Glad you got out to shop without incident. When snow gets grimy like that, it becomes something ugly, so it's good the snow near you is still white!

I wonder what the robin is doing out in the cold. Maybe it's stuck around to keep the Happy Prince company.
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[User Picture]From: flying_blind
2013-12-11 02:37 am (UTC)
The snow along the main roads was even grimier today than it was yesterday. It's remarkable how the exhaust fumes collect so thickly on it.

Well, I guess it's the particulates rather than the fumes.

Edited at 2013-12-11 02:39 am (UTC)
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