Snow shower

I hadn’t checked the overnight forecast and wasn’t sure whether the stock waters would freeze. The optimist in me thought it would be mild so I turned the heaters off at chores; a few hours later the temperatures dropped with the setting sun. I was bundled up but as my face hit the night air I could feel moisture on my forehead. A light on the barn illuminated the slate walkway and I could see that it was wet and that the grass on either side was frosted with patches of snow; I moved carefully for I knew that ice had formed in spots. My face was wet but I could not determine in what form the precipitation was falling. I went to the milk room and turned on a light which illuminated the north side of the barn. Joanna was with me and together we turned up the hill and circled round to the large sliding doors which lead to the haymow. Several years ago, on a clear summer day, a rogue burst of wind rushed down the mountain, into the open doors of the mow, and blew out the east wall of the barn. We learned then never to leave those doors open. We linked the north and south wall headers with chain, bolstered the union between the north and east walls with angle iron, and the left side door can now be bolted fast to the concrete. I opened the right side door and stepped into the darkness and turned, careful to avoid the drive shaft of the haybine which I knew to be at the right height to do damage to my shin if I should walk into it. There was an extension cord by the pig pen; this lead to an element which heats a water tank in the ram pasture. I plugged it in. Joanna was standing in the open door and as I turned my eyes beheld the vision below. It was snowing and the long exposure made the illuminated and rapidly falling flakes look as if they were sparks from fires above. One might have been led to believe that a meteor had passed overhead and set the night air ablaze. She stood quietly as I squeezed off several frames. When we walked together I asked what she had been thinking as she stood. She said that she was remembering what it was like to be a kid when she was able to enjoy the snow for its beauty and for the fascination that it held. She observed that now, even though snow remains every bit as beautiful, it brings with it a certain amount of work and a number of concerns of which she was unaware as a child. I suppose that’s what growing up is all about. When we are young we have the luxury of being responsible for little more than ourselves. As we grow and mature the scope of our responsibilities widens. Although that may be true, I hope that most of us manage to hold on to a vision of life which sees beauty in simple things and in simple pleasures. For when all of life is distilled and its myriad complexities are driven off, what else is there?Snow1

14 thoughts on “Snow shower

  1. It was a pleasure to read this. I love your use of the english language. It evoked child hood memories for me too. Thank you.

    • Thank you so much Brenda. I have written before that I do not feel comfortable calling myself a photographer … and I feel uneasy calling myself a writer. I do not believe that I have progressed far enough, in either genre – my evolution continues. I have so many doubts. Comments such as the one you so graciously took the time to send along are what keep me going. Taking photos and writing about them, in a vacuum without feedback, is tough. Thank you so much for your kind words … they let me know that I’m at least pointing in the right direction. D

  2. Just perfect. I found myself falling into a reverie last evening as well when I came in late from the barn. We didn’t get much here, white stuff is maybe an inch or so, but wind and rain all day, sleet too. The animals can get out, but the goats are in as they hate the wet and would only clamber to come in all day anyway.

    You do an outstanding job with your blog. I’m always so impressed.

    • Your comments always make me feel just an inch or so taller! And, regarding goats … they’re the biggest cry-babies on the farm (but, clearly, you know that). Our weather has been totally-crazy … rain, snow, sleet, sun … and all in unpredictable sequences! Argh! D

  3. I focused on the image first – and despite the title of the post I did not recognize the snow. Truly eerie. I am also biased as such a dark silhouette usually denotes a sinister computer hacker.

  4. David that photo is beautiful, and in your writing you’ve captured beautifully an age old dilemma. As we grow older it’s very easy to lose our childlike wonder at the world. The trick is to be responsible, and yet hold it lightly I think. Learn to tame the forward rushing brain, which is so full of all its certainties and assumptions. If we can let go of the anticipation of the work that lies ahead, and just approach it as it happens, we can hold onto the inner child, and all the gifts and delights she has to show us 🙂

    • Ahh … much easier said than done! Let’s pretend that there is a mutant gene for a hypertrophied sense of responsibility (we’ll call it HRG for hyper-responsibility gene). My father was a very responsible, obsessively-get-things-done, kind of person … he was clearly homozygous recessive (rr) for the disorder! My mother is fairly responsible but not as much as my father was … we’ll assume she is heterozygous (Rr). Having set out he genetics it’s clear that I am homozygous recessive as well (rr). I wish I could do what you say when you suggest that I ‘let go of the anticipation,’ but I cannot. No matter how hard I try I am always living 24 ahead of myself, working hard to take care of business. When I do take time to relax I find it very hard not to think about the things I’m not doing. Anyway, thanks your continued interest and support. D

  5. What a thoughtful post. It’s kind of good news/bad news as you get older. You have more responsibilities and worries. Hard to keep it all in perspective and be in the moment. Thanks for reminding us to do so.

  6. Some people go through life understanding that simple axiom, and some people just never seem to stop long enough to get it, I think. Obviously, you always understood … otherwise, you would not be standing there with the camera looking out at Joanna. 🙂

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