Around here, for a week or so, before stiff waves of wind blow them all away, New England boys like me look out over the backyard and get a little homesick.
They float slowly down, they sway in the sunlight reflecting the reds, tans, oranges, yellows, browns and greens of Autumn, presenting the bright calling card of Winter.
Soon, the picturesque eye candy will be followed by the auditory pleasure of crunching when we walk anywhere at all. And the fragrance…
The cool, so welcome after Summer’s heat, will not stay long. The cold, or what passes for cold here, will arrive- but the skiing, sledding, tobogganing, ice skating, snowman-making and snowball-fighting will be only memories occasionally recalled by hot rum refreshments.
Iced over windshields, frozen door locks, dead or dying batteries, frozen fingers and toes and noses and ears won’t be missed all that much, and even these accouterments of a Northern Winter will have their once-sharp-cornered memories rounded over and dulled by time.
But the memory of what used to be that never fades, at least for me, is the deep quiet, the muffled sound of everything that occurs when there is two feet of snow on the ground, huge snowflakes falling so very silently, and you stop walking and listen- and hear, no, actually feel no sound whatsoever. Nothing at all.