Rich

Snow drifts down this morning, officially or not marking the beginning of winter. As always, the cats and I are the first awake in our house, the cats hungry for a bowl of food and then sprawling on the rug, satisfied, happy with the prospect of another day.

The first snowfall perhaps belongs in the realm of childhood, the magical enchantment of waking and realizing the overnight world has silently transformed into white. No one in our house is in the Land of Little any longer, joyous at the prospect of a zillionth reading of The Snowy Day.

Nonetheless — and despite the months ahead of Vermont snow — these moments of gust and flake and the wind chimes singing, the daughters sleeping, the cats purring, are, for the moment, sweet and silent.

The room was suddenly rich and the great bay-window was
Spawning snow and pink roses against it
Soundlessly collateral and incompatible:
World is suddener than we fancy it.

World is crazier and more of it than we think,
Incorrigibly plural….

Louis MacNeice

Laughter

Standing in the rain watching my daughter, behind the socially distanced spaced out row of spectators, I hear a sound through the downpour steadily pummeling my borrowed umbrella. It takes me a moment, but then I realize two women cozied up together beneath their umbrella are laughing.

On the wet field, the girls are playing hard. Their ponytails and masks and uniforms are sodden. Many are covered with mud. Beyond the field, patches of pale gold leaves glow in the misty rain.

For a moment, I have the sense this sums up the pandemic — alone and isolated with my mask and raincoat and umbrella — and yet together. I stand there, happy the girls are playing, listening to the laughter of strangers through the downpour.

The apparition of these faces in the crowd:
Petals on a wet, black bough.

— Ezra Pound, ‘In a Station of the Metro’