Enjoying the Snow

Cabin in the Snow

Cabin in the Snow

First Snow
by Mary Oliver

The snow
began here
this morning and all day
continued, its white
rhetoric everywhere
calling us back to why, how,
whence such beauty and what
the meaning; such
an oracular fever! flowing
past windows, an energy it seemed
would never ebb, never settle
less than lovely! and only now,
deep into night,
it has finally ended.
The silence
is immense,
and the heavens still hold
a million candles, nowhere
the familiar things:
stars, the moon,
the darkness we expect
and nightly turn from. Trees
glitter like castles
of ribbons, the broad fields
smolder with light, a passing
creekbed lies
heaped with shining hills;
and though the questions
that have assailed us all day
remain — not a single
answer has been found –
walking out now
into the silence and the light
under the trees,
and through the fields,
feels like one.

I always appreciate an author who highlights the wonders of the natural world. Poets like Mary Oliver can describe so much better than I can the loveliness of a winter snow storm. I especially enjoy how she ends this poem by saying that being out in nature feels like an answer to all those unanswered questions. I feel that way a lot here. I may not know what direction my life will take when I leave here or even if I will leave, but that all melts away when I am out enjoying a winter day. All I know in that moment is the squeak of the snow beneath my skis, my breath, warm against my face and the limitless mountains surrounding me.

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