Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Dust of Snow

 We got the first "dusting" of snow at our house Monday night.  I didn't hear rain during the night, so it was possible there was no precipitation at all.  I was delighted to find a new layer of the "white stuff" on the ground when I woke up around sunrise.  I was immediately reminded of one of my favorite short poems by Robert Frost.  I decided to see what has been written about this poem that I first learned about in junior high when Frost was still alive.  It turns out a lot of really stupid stuff shows up when one Googles "Dust of Snow, analysis."  So many common stereotypes of crows and snow, mistaking Hemlock trees for the Poison Hemlock (a small plant, not a tree), the presumption that Frost included many "opposites" in the poem.  Opposites such as the evil crow inadvertently causing a moment of pleasure.  There's no direct evidence in the poem about why the narrator (who may or may not be Frost; we have to assume not) might have "rued" the day until receiving the pleasurable "dusting."  In any case, I've never had a negative feeling about crows.  In fact one of my favorite memories from childhood is of my Uncle Ray, a WWI veteran, taming crows in his back yard while they remained free.  He'd go outside with a dish of "crow food" and call to them.  Two of them, as I recall.  They would swoop down out of the trees and land on his outstretched arm and gobble up the food.  I never heard Uncle Ray say anything bad about crows.  He loved them, and so did I.  Where I live now, I have more contact with Ravens than I do with crows.  Crows in the downtown parking lots, but Ravens in the surrounding forest and in the trees on the upper campus of FRC.
The poem, to me, represents an uncomplicated peacefulness.  I have fond memories of hiking and skiing in the "back country" during snow storms - places so quiet that I could actually hear snowflakes landing.
Then my thoughts turns to humorous memories, such as creating the above painting of a polar bear hiding behind an iceberg during a blizzard.  It was actually quite easy to draw.
I suppose if I'd had my camera handy when I first left the house, I would have taken a couple of photos of the front yard and the dusting of snow on top of my firewood.  Then this post might have turned out differently.  Hopefully, there will be more snow soon so I can experiment with both photos and words.

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