Mack Williams: Snow smattering

Published 12:00 am Sunday, April 8, 2018

Mack Williams

During these past several weeks, it seemed something weather-wise from 58 years ago was again trying to “switch on” again, with each of Mother Nature’s Winter weekly “dabblings” in the third month of the year. Some of these meteorological examples have been respectable examples, while others have been “meteoric” (mixing words of weather and astronomy).
Small white petals from blooming trees fell as well. While early-falling flakes melted, white petals “stuck” from the start, remaining individuals despite their clumping.
When the snowfall briefly slowed, it seemed as if the snow were having an asthmatic response to the already pollen-choked air. Faltering snowfall can have an “asthmatic” effect upon a child’s “snow-day” hope, such hope hanging by a thread (or flake). When snow spirals down, children’s hopes soar (that could be a t-shirt slogan)!
In one heavier snow, I canceled my physical therapy trip. Ceramic hips, although tougher ceramic than Royal Doulton, can shatter with a bad fall. Unlike one of Hyacinth’s shattering teacups on the BBC show “Keeping up Appearances,” my hipbones’ shattering sound would be somewhat muffled, by being enwrapped in flesh.
One morning snow, when wind-lessened and flakes fell leisurely, I imagined them mirroring my slower moving corpuscles as my morning’s high blood pressure medicine kicked in.
Some “wet-snow-clumping” gave barren bush twigs the appearance of a gumdrop tree (mint). Upon close inspection, I saw fragments of their crystalline spikes, like grappling hooks architecting the clumping.
In one of these snows, some flakes “stuck” in a shadowy gully while others melted on flat ground, as if Winter was resorting to “trench warfare” to take hold and survive! Don’t forget: this Veteran’s Day is the 100th anniversary of the end (Armistice) of World war I, 1918-2018.
When the snow swirled, DNA double helix fashion, I thought of people whose love of snow says it’s “in their blood,” (including mine and my brother Joe’s branches of Williamses).
“Translucent-green” newborn leaves became covered by “opaque-white,” a faux, frozen casting of the true item, but unlike them, falling at birth.
Big “wet” flakes were made of several smaller ones, like three or four guys on a Devil-may-care bobsled ride.
Someone Facebook-posted a picture of a vase of freshly picked flowers set in a window with snow seen falling outside, but although it was a still picture, the “imagined” motion of the snowflakes made them  seem more alive than the “decapitated” flowers.
In another “snow smattering,” there were alternating rows of snowfall and bare yard, resembling “mackerel” clouds. It was as if mackerel clouds had simply frozen in the sky and fallen straight to the ground without the usual “machinations” required to get there.
In one of my “out-of-the-glass-door” snow watchings, I saw snow revealing its liquid nature through movement. The snow was blown over the roof, then streamed off the roof’s edge, but curved downwards, in a perfect, waterfall-mimicking arch.
In the day following one snow, all that remained were small, neat-looking patches on lawns, making it seem as if the snow, like the rest of the yard, had been manicured.
Some of these minimal snows resembled an artist’s conception of the kind of “slight” snow caps they’re used to on Mars, but since there’s no “they’re” on Mars, there’s also no “their,” only “there” (I should try this with “you,” “your,” and “you’re”).
Some of these “wet” snows had the biggest flakes I’ve yet seen! On one occasion, it was nighttime, and I put my contacts back in to see those 50-cent flakes. I posted this on Facebook, also mentioning that without my contacts, the flakes were the size of silver dollars (some even seeming as big as blurred doves ). I stated that I didn’t know how to “hash tag” it; but if I did, the word “myopia” would have played a major part!
Sometimes the snow flakes were so small they resembled slow motion rain. At such times, my eyes strained to see them (“close work” snow).
When I gave a nighttime glance past the light outside my glass door, the snow-lit branches of nearby trees seemed nearer, making me think of Macbeth’s “Till Birnham Wood remove to Dunsinane” or “The Day of the Triffids”(1963).
But this last snow, five days into Spring, turned out to be “smattering-plus” where I live. A nighttime look past the outside light revealed thousands of “pockmarks” in the snow, mini crater-like depressions which seemed to me to be the “flake footprints” of the giant falling flakes.
Those times when the snow slowed to a “flakle” (frozen trickle) then started up again, reminded me of gaps and  “wait times” in a parade.
The least of these snows have amounted to no more than a proper, gentle watering of the earth, no great splashing runoff, but seeping deep. The very next day, with warming temperatures the flakes’ fall continued in a great gravitational-succumbing slump, clumps falling from boughs and roofs, and in the case of what was already on the ground, a sub-soil directional shrink.
When this last (?) snow melted, puddles here and there were filled with the reflected colors of sky, budding trees, and where daffodils already bloomed on a “puddle beach,” yellow.
The frozen, opaque singularity of Winter had melted into the reflected spectrum of Spring!


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