Mack Williams: Finally, more than winter’s ‘flurried appetizer’

Published 12:00 am Sunday, March 1, 2020

Mack Williams

Well, the “snow of Winter 2019/2020” (so far), more than just a previous “flurried appetizer” of Winter, finally arrived. (I didn’t capitalize “snow,” since it wasn’t really much of a snow, not requiring a lot of hooplah).
As the snow fell, the outside road noises began to have that slightly muffled, distorted effect of sound waves being “mangled” by innumerable tiny frozen shapes of blade-like crystalline beauty cutting through them.
I was on the road when it began. At first, the flakes were very small, seemingly melting into drops just before reaching the ground. The flakes were so tiny, that unless they had been payed close attention  to, just a second before melting on surfaces, no one might have been the wiser of what they had become up in the clouds.
Then their size increased, and they remained in crystalline form for just a little longer on my car windshield before becoming like melted, transparent, gelatinous “bug bodies,” complete with fantastic geometrical “appendages”before being wiped away by my wiper blades.
After a while, my windshield wipers made a horrible squawking sound, almost as if the snowflakes were giving out their “death rattle” with each blade swipe (but it was only because I needed new wiper blades).
The snow later fell so evenly, flakes falling almost “sheet-like” in unity, that I imagined the delicate, almost gauze-like Veil of the Temple which was rent on Good Friday over two millennia ago (and remembered it wasn’t very long till Easter).
The yard’s wild onions seemed shorter by about an inch or so (the Danville depth of snowfall);  and imagined their growth being paused by the fallen snow (and  perhaps, some tempering of their odor too).

The past week’s most unusual sight, prior to this snow (at least for me), has been a nearby dogwood tree with flower buds already in half-bloom (no doubt, due to this Winter’s unusually warm regional temperatures). The blooms’ floral white, covered with snow of equal color, made it seem as if instead of “blossoming into Spring,” they had taken on the new task of “blossoming into Winter,”

maybe even becoming part of Winter, itself, and renouncing all former association with the season to which they had always been linked.
The snow had been so gentle and sparse, as to have provided only enough of its pigment to barely paint every tree trunk, limb, branch, and tiniest twig, without the least bit of overlapping, just enough to make it seem that every species of tree within sight had become the whitest of sycamores.
The snowfall gasped one last gasp with big “wet” frozen flakes. Ceasing its falling, this particular precipitation’s life-pulse seemed to have passed; and by virtue of the overnight low temperature, the snow remained in frozen “rigor” till mid morning.
That previous night, the moon was clouded over (only a waning crescent anyway), so that only the snowfall’s thin layer served to light the scene from below, seemingly handing off its natural nighttime glow to the solar “runner” at dawn (such “runner” appearing to returning the favor, bringing about combined and reflected brilliance from below).
Despite its frozen “rigor,” the snow really wasn’t dead, only entering a second life! For early that same morning in a nearby yard, a man, along with his young daughter and young son were helping some of that minimal snow to “rise up” and become a “little man.”

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