Tuesday, March 25, 2014

And miles to go before I sleep

On the way to pick up my husband today from his work, I drove through a driving snow squall.  Didn't spring officially start on March 20?  After one of the coldest and snowiest winters in Central Ohio history, I could hardly believe it.

Dark clouds loomed on the horizon, and I became nervous because I rarely drive the 40 miles to my husband's work.  He had given me specific landmarks to see in the last two miles to get ready to make the right turn, and blowing snow obliterated my view of anything beyond the berm.

White-knuckled I slowed to 35 MPH to go the last mile and finally spot the barely visible Rt. 347 sign to take me to TRC Dr.  I breathed a huge sigh of relief as I entered the gates of his work to pick him up for his doctor's appointment.

Once we drove about 10 miles to the east, the snow dissipated to a few blowing flurries and we made it back the 40 miles still on time for the appointment.  I kept thinking that this was no weather for spring break, how tired we all were of the white stuff and the cold that came with it.  Even 50 degrees would seem like summer at this point, and I wanted to be done with snow and winter.

Until we arrived back home, opened the back drapes and gasped.  There it was, the beautiful winter wonderland that always takes our breath away all winter long.  Undisturbed and unfettered snow, coating our yard and the woods behind it.  Stunningly beautiful as afternoon sunlight reflected in glittering snowflakes.

We just stared.  Soon a Cooper's hawk came swooping in, balancing on a branch and frightening the squirrels and songbirds away, only visible because of the snowfall.  All winter we have enjoyed a family of five deer who venture into our woods, bedding down sometimes and browsing on the ends of small branches.  Without the snow that fills our woods, the deer would go unseen, camouflaged as nature intended.

And suddenly in my mind our daughter Jennifer is a small child again, and we are gazing at a different woods with snow. The words of the Robert Frost poem "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" starts spilling out from our mouths as my husband stares at us, grinning as always.  I have always loved poetry, and so does Jennifer, and we recited many poems orally rotating lines from one to the other, mother to daughter, and back again.

This poem was one of our winter favorites, and we recited it often.  Tonight it came off my lips, and although the little girl is grown and has a home of her own, I can still see her smiling face and hear her little voice as the snow falls.

And now today's snow is no longer an unwanted visitor, but a warm recollection of the past.

How lucky we are to live in Ohio, where the change of the seasons reminds of the seasons of our lives with our loved ones, just as the poem paints a picture of scenes and voices from the past.

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

Whose woods these are I think I know.   
His house is in the village though;   
He will not see me stopping here   
To watch his woods fill up with snow.   

My little horse must think it queer   
To stop without a farmhouse near   
Between the woods and frozen lake   
The darkest evening of the year.   

He gives his harness bells a shake   
To ask if there is some mistake.   
The only other sound’s the sweep   
Of easy wind and downy flake.   

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,   
But I have promises to keep,   
And miles to go before I sleep,   
And miles to go before I sleep.

1 comment:

  1. Phew! A day that started with white knuckles and ended with white beauty. A gorgeous story for a snowy day. And what a special family tradition…


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