Snowfall, Philadelphia, 2021. Photo by R.D. Joslin

Yesterday, a friend sent me this photo from Philadelphia, which captures the beauty and serenity that a thick blanket of snow provides.

Last week, snow from a sprawling winter storm swept across the USA covering nearly 75% of the country. Nearly every state had temperatures that dipped below freezing, affecting 150 million people.

Texas experienced the worst winter weather in decades, flights were grounded and more than 2 million people endured the cold without power or water. Many families (including a good friend’s son, wife and two young sons) slept huddled together in front of fireplaces to try and stay warm.

I talked to friends in Salem, Oregon Saturday eve. They told me about the devastation in their neighborhood from the many trees that had toppled over under the weight of accumulated ice. When they finally ventured out to see the damage, a huge limb fell across their front porch, missing them, but causing significant damage to their house.

Beauty and serenity is definitely needed now as people recover not only from this winter storm but the more than year-long struggle with COVID. And so I leave you with this beautiful winter poem written by Emily Dickinson.

It Sifts from Leaden Sieves

 It sifts from leaden sieves
It powders all the wood.
It fills with alabaster wool
The wrinkles of the road.

It makes an even face
Of mountain, and of plain –
Unbroken forehead from the east
Unto the east again –

It reaches to the fence –
It wraps it rail by rail
Till it is lost in fleeces;
It flings a crystal veil

On stump, and stack and stem –
The summer’s empty room
Acres of seams where harvests were,
Recordless, but for them –

As ankles of a queen –
Then stills its artisans like ghosts,
Denying they have been.

9 thoughts on “Snowbound

  1. Even in TN we were ice/snowbound for nearly two weeks. It’s quiet beauty, however, is breathtaking!

  2. Thank you Susan and for Emily. Oh, another New England poet comes to mind, Robert Frost and his poem “Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening.”

    Whose woods these are I think I know.
    His house is in the village though;
    He will not see me stopping here
    To watch his woods fill up with snow.

    My little horse must think it queer
    To stop without a farmhouse near
    Between the woods and frozen lake
    The darkest evening of the year.

    He gives his harness bells a shake
    To ask if there is some mistake.
    The only other sound’s the sweep
    Of easy wind and downy flake.

    The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
    But I have promises to keep,
    And miles to go before I sleep,
    And miles to go before I sleep.

  3. The pic is indeed beautiful. The wonderment that a muffling snowfall brings is another of nature’s miracles. I love to visit snow-scapes but, being raised in Colorado, I no longer relished the extra-curricular activities mandated by snow, ice & freezing temps. But I do miss the beauty. Thanks so much for sharing this & Emily D. Is one of my fav poets.

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