In I miss snow, Doug Johnson laments the absence of snow, an old companion and giver of work. He writes of the nerve-wracking snow that plagued his days, longing for it:

I now realize that despite its nuisance, I miss snow. . .And even a light cover of snow can give an ethereal beauty to the most common-place…I recognize the loveliness of the snow….Sometimes it takes the absence of thing before you really appreciate it. I miss snow.

Reflecting on absence, I think of all the ideas I held with passionate fervor, that kept me away from family and friends, that kept me churning ceaselessly to keep me busy. I remember the countless evenings where I rushed through dinner, driven to learn, share, and do. Now, they are gone, those things I hurried after and I can’t help but wonder, “Was that my snow, that thing I really appreciate now that it’s gone?”

It’s not, I realize, the absence of the thing. It is the quiet peace that fills the space left, like a fat man who keeps looking for the mass that isn’t there anymore, to reassure himself, “Yes, it’s gone.” It’s the quiet solitude without comfortable ideas, passions, and lies you were taught, lying over the mundane reality of your life. To see things as they are, uncovered at long last by the tapestry of thoughts not your own.

I miss not the snow, but the feeling of fullness, of purpose, of being an instrument of destiny. But then, a part of me is glad. I’m only missing something that I didn’t really need, fictions and falsehoods. The snow served a purpose, its absence a portent of climate change.

For me, to let go of the past, the absence of false friends…it signals change…on a winter day, is it better to have a thin blanket of lies or the truth?

Another Response

I left the following response on Doug’s blog last night:

I miss the snow, too. Having grown up in Panama, I miss the idea of it. I miss the blizzard where evil dwells, the snow flurries that obscure my vision, the slip and slide of wheels on an uncertain path. I miss the snowplows making their way up the avenue, the snowmen gathered on the lawn. I miss the snowflakes, one and all, like a banker misses his coin.

But then, when sadness gathers six feet deep at my door, my tears forming crystals on my cheeks, I remember, I grew up in the summer humid heat of Panama. Snow is but a dream, where mosquitoes are unborn, iguanas wouldn’t be caught dead without a borrowed fur coat. I remember that dark rainstorms, drops so large they can kill a baby frog, renew the pools where tadpoles spawn, form the ocean waves. I see them once more, those summer days, bereft of snow, and I miss the sun of my youth.

Now that the chill is gone, I wonder what I will dream for tomorrow. A day without sun in another land, a grey overcast day without a blanket of snow. I wonder what I will dream of, the future or the past, or will I have a dreamless sleep, empty of expectation and sun and snow, and all that men dream when the earth wraps its arms around them.

Let the snow go, friend, and ask instead, “Where are your dreams gone?”

An AI-Generated Poem

Bare branches reach out Longing for winter’s white cloak Absence fills the air

My Poem

Bright sunlight appears With gentle grace, the snow melts A cruel silence sings