OPW, poetry

OPW: “Snow, Aldo”

Since it’s been warm outside recently (at least where I live), what better time is there for a poem about snow? This fun little poem, “Snow, Aldo,” is by Kate DeCamillo.

Once, I was in New York,
in Central Park, and I saw
an old man in a black overcoat walking
a black dog. This was springtime
and the trees were still
bare and the sky was
gray and low and it began, suddenly,
to snow:
big fat flakes
that twirled and landed on the
black of the man’s overcoat and
the black dog’s fur. The dog
lifted his face and stared
up at the sky. The man looked
up, too. “Snow, Aldo,” he said to the dog,
“snow.” And he laughed.
The dog looked
at him and wagged his tail.

If I was in charge of making
snow globes, this is what I would put inside:
the old man in the black overcoat,
the black dog,
two friends with their faces turned up to the sky
as if they were receiving a blessing,
as if they were being blessed together
by something
as simple as snow
in March.

personal, ruminations

The Coming Spring

PowiSpring Dandelions

It happened yesterday for the first time. For the first time in months I recognized that winter was fading and spring was coming. It’s not coming quick or earlier than usual, but it’s coming and the first signs were there.

The mid-morning walk offered some clues. It’s been getting warmer out. Recently, a hat and gloves have feel extraneous rather than absolutely necessary. But more important was the light: the gray and bright fading in an out as clouds blew around overhead. And as much as I know that this is a local weather pattern and not anything that it’s wise to extrapolate from, I couldn’t help it.

But it was later, when the hot air in the kitchen was interrupted by the cool air from outside that I was sure. Sure because of that key sign. The air outside was cool; not cold, not biting, not frigid. It was cool. Surely, a meteorologist will tell you I’m unwisely extrapolating again. Maybe I am, but I know it’s coming.

There’s a certain anticipation which should accompany every season. A change in the weather, in places fortunate enough to get changes in the weather, is the surest sign that time is passing. A gentle reminder that days do unavoidably become weeks, months, seasons, years, decades, and lives.

The new season gently asks by it’s difference, if you’re ready, if you’re satisfied, if you’re sure. If, indeed, you’re willing to enter the next season and the next year the same way you’ve lived this season and year.

Some people think that these questions are best asked between December 30 and January 2, but I’m sure they’re not. The two days that we use to mark the passing of the old and the arrival of the new are just that: days. If you blink you can miss them, and blinking through the new year is an underrated thing.

Perhaps people use those days because it’s hard to miss all the pomp and circumstance with which we mark 12:00 am on January 1st. But the passing of winter into spring can be missed. Its rarely noted and almost never celebrated. And worse, we spend so much time indoors we can easily forget we live in a place where the temperature isn’t always 68°F. A place where seasons pass. Where winter gives way to spring.