Friday, February 5, 2010

Snow Day

The week before Christmas, I shoveled the driveway. That's no act of breaking news, but for me it was a first - and what a first! The sky had opened and blasted the earth with twenty inches of chilled whiteness. My roommate's car was blotted out, a vaguely vehicular hump. The stairs had ceased to be.

So in the first clear morning after the storm, when the sky was penitently blue, I began to shovel the driveway. It's sixty or seventy feet from the front door to the road. Three or four hours later, with swollen pink blisters on my hands and the sense that my bones had dried to powder with the effort, I retired inside, believing I should, mercifully, never see such a snowfall again. Not here in D.C, the capital of sloppy winters and torpid summers.

But six weeks later, and behold: the snow comes on, cold and silent and perfect, a great hand falling to hush the mouth of the world. Twenty to twenty-eight inches of it.

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