December 13th, 2008


Snow Shower

A break in the clouds is allowing the low sun's light to fall on the nearby trees. The street is streaked with long shadows. The air is full of small snowflakes. Their slow descent angles one way, then another as the soft breezes shift. They carry their bits of light to the ground, to dissolve and to wet the pavement, where shade now gleams darkly and sunlit patches shine. The dampened leaves of evergreen shrubs glisten. Across the street, a single deep pink rose is still blooming, bright even though shaded. The clumped remains of long-fallen pine needles crushed by passing cars turn a dark, golden brown where they lie along the roadside.

Blue jays and acorn woodpeckers chatter and squawk, and fly from tree to tree through the unaccustomed flakes. Translucent mulberry leaves glow yellow and pale green, and melted snowflakes form bright drops at their tips. The apple orchard is a haze of shimmering light hovering between dark ground shadow and the sombre, deep green pines that wall the horizon. Above everything, streaks of blue divide the rumpled gray clouds and expose their upper reaches, now brilliant white.

For half an hour, the snowflakes flakes fall, and then gradually diminish, until the fading air is clear again. No trace of them remains on the ground but the damp.