“Sometimes it Snows in April”

Lately, I spend most of my free time in my den, looking up at the trees in my backyard and those just beyond it. I wouldn’t describe myself as a nature lover. Sure, I lived on a mountain for half a decade, away from the maddening crowds of humans, but not far away, and it wasn’t like I was communing with nature or anything – it just happened to be where I was. I used to say I could commune with nature, if it weren’t for the bugs. This last year that has become all too true, when on three separate occasions my encounters with insects and arachnids led to three instances of cellulitis. Communing with nature without communing with bugs is an impossibility: there’s something like 200 million insects for every human on the planet. I’d prefer to be wrapped in plastic, but I settle for my den. It’s inside, but I can look out. That’s where I am now. It’s snowing. It’s a steady snow, but not a big snow storm snow. Not like section 13 of “Thirteen ways of Looking at a Blackbird”:

It was evening all afternoon.
It was snowing
And it was going to snow.
The blackbird sat
In the cedar-limbs.

I love the first three lines of that, I could care less about the bird : I like the snow. It reminds me of mittens and hot chocolate, hats with pom poms (why they had pom poms I’ll never understand), a marble fire place and a brick fireplace, watching the fire like a Neanderthal, or an 8 year-old boy, or an 8 year-old boy Neanderthal, mesmerized by light and smoke dancing to the cracker jack crackle of fire fire, flame flame, hot hot heat.

There’s no fireplace in this room. That may be something I need to remedy. Instead, I have one of those Amish fireplaces. It’ll do for now. The snow will not. It is some kind of sad April Fool’s joke. It’s too insistent, too eager to fall to the ground, and so too soon it will stop, and be gone. I still love the snow, even though I usually hurt myself when I shovel it. I love watching it fall like in the poem. Slowly, like gravity’s broken, and the sun shines only half way, like light and time are broken.

When it snows and it’s going to snow, you don’t need to do anything because you don’t need to go anywhere, because no one can get anywhere. That’s a nice feeling.
There’s a beautiful music to a storm like that. The euphony of snowflakes silently unshuffling themselves in a game of 52 pick up, and all the while the low bass of a plough drones on, too, too far to hear distinctly, it won’t make it to you until at least tomorrow.

A storm like that, I picture my old house, the apple tree in front. I imagine it filling with snow with gravity broken, time and light on the fritz. And I wonder if the tree is still there, or if the yellow belly sap sucker killed it.

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