Saturday, April 5, 2014

April 5: Gratitude Thirty-Two, Ditches Bubbled, Joseph Stroud, New Cartoon

The snows melted and ran away.  The streams and ditches bubbled and chattered with rushing water.  A sparrow with a streaky breast arrived and sang.  The light strengthened, the mornings came sooner.  Almost every morning there was another new lamb in the sheepfold.  The goose was sitting on nine eggs.  The sky seemed wider and a warm wind blew.  The last remaining strands of Charlotte's old web floated away and vanished.

Yes, after the last two days of snow and more snow and, on top of that, additional snow, I am thinking about bubbling ditches and streams.  Rushing water.  Today, the temperatures topped out in the low 40s.  The sun was blinding as it bounced off the banks and drifts from Friday's storm.  And there was plenty of melting.  The contrast was stunning.  I shoveled my driveway and yard four times yesterday.  Tonight, I can see bare pavement and patches of brown grass.

I'm grateful for that.  It gives me hope that, eventually, spring will arrive.  Of course, it's only the first weekend in April.  For the Upper Peninsula, that means that we probably still have a couple good blizzards to endure.  But it's supposed to be 50 degrees tomorrow.  Mud weather.  Crocus weather.  The lilacs of June won't be far behind.

Tonight, however, there are six-foot snowbanks on my lawn.  They're beautiful in the moonlight.  Silvery and glacial.  Joseph Stroud wrote a gorgeous poem about snow.  Garrison Keillor reprinted it in his anthology Good Poems:  American Places:


Everywhere, everywhere, snow sifting down,
a world becoming white, no more sounds,
no longer possible to find the heart of the day,
the sun is gone, the sky is nowhere, and of all
I wanted in life--so be it--whatever it is
that brought me here, chance, fortune, whatever
blessing each flake of snow is the hint of, I am
grateful, I bear witness, I hold out my arms,
palms up, I know it is impossible to hold
for long what we love of the world, but look
at me, is it foolish, shameful, arrogant to say this,
see how the snow drifts down, look how happy
I am.

Saint Marty is happy tonight, for the snow, the melt, the rushing water.

Confessions of Saint Marty 

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