The Artful, Heart-Stealing Treachery of Snow

(Photo: Free images)

Snow. It binds us to itself with love-hate intensity. We romanticize it on greeting cards and fantasize about those first, magical flakes each winter ...

... but then we also complain when there's too much of it, when it clogs the roads and bridges and sidewalks, when it falls continuously, windswept from roofs and trees, packed against our cars and homes, multiplying toil and burying all that is living and prosperous.

Let's face it. It IS dangerous. It traps and blinds, it coats and freezes, steals loved ones away, relentless in its quest to cover the northern lands for a season or two.

I don't deny any of that. I don't deny that for me, it announces the dark season, the one that leaves me feeling trapped and blue, affected by the lack of sunlight, pulled into a melancholy not of my choosing.

But I can't ignore its beauty even as I curse its cruelty.

Here's a poem that celebrates that wondrous paradox.


By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Out of the bosom of the Air,
Out of the cloud-folds of her garments shaken,
Over the woodlands brown and bare,
Over the harvest-fields forsaken,
Silent, and soft, and slow
Descends the snow.

Even as our cloudy fancies take
Suddenly shape in some divine expression,
Even as the troubled heart doth make
In the white countenance confession,
The troubled sky reveals
The grief it feels.

This is the poem of the air,
Slowly in silent syllables recorded;
This is the secret of despair,
Long in its cloudy bosom hoarded,
Now whispered and revealed
To wood and field.

And here is its beautiful theme song, shared with me earlier this week by a blog reader: 

Read more posts in the Fine Art Friday series here.

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