Finally, it is snowing. Not a lot. Not blusterly. But gently and confidently and happily snowing. While the meteorologists tell us there will be no accumulation, I will take what I can get. Snow is, after all, welcome on two accounts: for the moments it is falling and for the ground cover it brings. One out of two is better than none at all, and at least for the moment we can enjoy this fleeting aerial ballet
I have turned off my radio, my dryer has stopped, as, blessedly, has the motor that runs my refrigerator, which seems to get louder and louder as the years pass. So I am sitting in almost-silence watching this parade of flakes rushing groundward as if they are all eager lyheaded to a high school reunion.
Our lack of snow became even more disheartening when I recalled that rain begins as snow. Up in the atmospheric range where the clouds form, it is below freezing. So when vapor rises, it eventually freezes, forming snowflakes. When it returns to earth, it will either melt or stay frozen depending on the temperature of the air in between the clouds and the ground. So we are so close, never more than a few miles, from snow.
When I was young, it seemed to me that we had several good, wet snowstorms every year. I remember my red plastic galoshes would fill with snow and my socks would be encrusted with refrozen snow when I finally had my fill and, fully sated with winter's wonders, went inside to towels, dry clothes and a hot cup of cocoa. Today, my children, who grew up in New York, are wondering if they will have to move back to New England to relive the snow memories of their childhood.
We can still hope. February is supposed to be the snowiest month of the year around here. Which is doubly good because it is also the shortest, so that means either one big snowstorm or several smaller ones. Either way, given how late it is in the month of January, I am looking forward to February with even greater expectation, and not a little bit of worry. For my children's sake.