Black Soil, White Snow

Day whatever it is of the Stay Home order. On a virtual school board meeting that evening, we began asking each other who’s looking out their windows. I’d been staring out mine for a while, at snow falling briskly. Like December.

My friend emails about the year 1816 “and froze to death.  Wouldn’t that be something?  We could relive that dreadful summer at the same time as reliving the flu pandemic of 1918…”

The next morning, after I shovel snow off the back porch, I have another work call — something in pre-pandemic days that might have been handled by a few emails opens into a conversation about this stranger’s high school senior daughter, and college tuition, and poverty in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom.

The cat lies sleeping in my feet in sunlight on my kitchen floor. There’s this elongated  sense of time. Why not keep talking?

Much later that evening, my daughters and I take a walk through the woods where the light falls through the bare forest, still without its canopy. On the floor, we discover trilliums, Dutchman’s breeches, trout lilies, and — everywhere — spring beauties.

Day whatever. Tuesday or Wednesday — somewhere in there. The peas are up in the garden.


4 thoughts on “Black Soil, White Snow

  1. Have you seen the photographs of the Himalayas visible for the first time in 30 years to people living in towns 30 miles away? As difficult as these times are for us, it is perhaps a deep, soothing breath for the Mother earth 🙂

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