I love watching snow falling, blowing across the windows, turning the world white. This afternoon I read with a friend a wonderful poem by Mary Oliver. It’s from her book, “What Do We Know,” and I am reprinting here. It’s called “Early Snow.”
Amazed I looked
out of the window and saw
the early snow coming down casually,
almost drifting, over
the gardens, then the gardens began
to vanish as each white, six-pointed
snowflake lay down without a sound with all
the others. I thought, how incredible
were their numbers. I thought of dried
leaves drifting spate after spate
out of the forests,
the fallen sparrows, the hairs of all of our heads,
as, still, the snowflakes went on pouring softly through
what had become dusk or anyway flung
a veil over the sun. And I thought
how not one looks like another
though each is exquisite, fanciful, and
falls without argument. It was now nearly
evening. Some crows landed and tried
to walk around then flew off. They were perhaps
laughing in crow talk or anyway so it seemed
and I might have joined in, there was something
that wonderful and refreshing
about what was by then a confident, white blanket
carrying out its
cheerful work, covering ruts, softening
the earth’s trials, but at the same time
there was some kind of almost sorrow that fell
over me. It was
the loneliness again. After all
what is Nature, it isn’t
kindness, it isn’t unkindness. And I turned
and opened the door, and still the snow poured down
smelling of iron and the pale, vast eternal, and
there it was, whether I was ready or not:
the silence; the blank, white, glittering sublime.
Although our snowfall last week wasn’t an early one, this poem uses such beautifully descriptive language that I wanted to share it with everyone reading this column.
There was a poetry reading at the library this afternoon when I happened by. Here are some of the events scheduled for the upcoming week:
Saturday, Feb. 10, 10 am to noon, Martha’s Vineyard Community Seed Library will meet for its annual seed swap and germination testing workshop. Bring any open-pollinated or heirloom seeds to swap or donate to the seed cabinet, or just come to learn about the group and what they do. At 4 pm, Cindy Kallet and Grey Larsen will perform contemporary and traditional songs and music. The concert will include a special opening performance by Isaac Taylor.
Sunday, Feb. 11, 3:30 pm, an afternoon of live jazz with Eric Johnson and Jeremy Berlin.
Monday, Feb. 12, 11:30 am, Kanta Lipsky’s Balance Workshop. At 7 pm, Writers Read will meet. Sign up at 508-693-4307.
Thursday, Feb. 15, a screening of a documentary film, part of the Martha’s Vineyard Women’s Committee Winter Film Series. The film is “about the exhilarating, passionate, contentious early years” (1966–71) of the modern women’s movement. A discussion will follow.
Ben Stafford has added glass to the tile, stone, and flooring he sells and installs. His business and showroom are the Airport Design Center, located in the old Keyland Kitchen building leading into the airport.
Bobbie Lima has just returned from Arizona, where she attended a training led by noted author Tian Dayton called “Utilizing an Experiential Model for Treating Childhood Trauma and PTSD.” Bobbie will be giving a workshop at the Vineyard Haven Senior Center on Feb. 18, “Blocks to Spirituality: Co-Dependency and the Unresolved Patterns of Adult Children of Alcoholics.” If you are interested in attending, look at her website: bobbielima.com.
Mike is watching the Super Bowl while I’m writing. We are both confident that the Patriots will come from behind at the last minute to beat the Eagles. So far, the score is pretty close. But the Patriots are going to win.