But last night the cold broke. It warmed some, and the first snow came. I was up early this morning, and it was still falling. Snow here makes everything quiet and clean. It feels so strange. Far away I could hear a fog-horn, out where the big ships navigate the Verrazano narrows. Big big ships there, oil tankers, car containers. Someone out there was watching attentively, thinking about channels and rocks, about wind. Maybe they had a hot mug to warm their hands, as I did. I hope so.
We got very little snow, in the end. Just enough to cover the grass, and make everything soft and lumpy and alien. Mike took Sabir out very early. Sabir ran and barked, and chased snowballs. He may not remember the snow of last year, he was only a puppy then.
Mike and Alexander are on vacation for the next month. Zander comes home tonight. Buffalo already has snow in chest deep drifts. He says there are a lot of birds there, hawks, jays, and cardinals. They must find it hard to make a living.
This is the darkest time. There will be more snow and more cold, but after this week more light every day. We will began the climb toward spring. All of our holidays are about light. We remind ourselves, we remind each other.
Summer will come again we say; music in the street, kids in wet bathing suits, ice cream dripping. Summer here, has old men with Spanish music on a boom box, and they play dominoes on the sidewalk all day, and they are brown and wrinkly. They know the women who walk by, and the kids. They know everybody. Walking by the stores you get a blast of air conditioned coolness from every open door. Still everyone is sticky skin, crowded close. Everything smells more acute in summer, fruit, the salt of the beach, other people. Summer tells more stories, at least around here. Everything is more open, visible. All the relationships between people can be read on the faces and bodies right on the street.
In winter the smell sense is subtracted from us, almost gone, blunted by the cold. Wrapped in feathers we are isolated from each other, even as we take up more space. The stories are more subtle in winter, covered. Subtle, but still there...