Later, as the snow melts, children can sled down streets where adults drive too fast on snowy days. Children squeal with joy over speed and sanctioned infraction, but no one is happier as the galloping neighborhood retrievers. They are brightening up, their eyes lit up, their shaken clothes scattering diamonds in frozen air, and they make a great show of it.
Snow is a beautiful thing in cities and suburbs, but it doesn’t have the same beauty as in forests. It covers every branch, every tree, and every twig, making the forest a magical place. The trunks of trees become darker in the rain, while the ground around them becomes whiter. It’s a black-and-white landscape now, a scene from a movie made in another age.
The entire world is bright and clean. The whiteness of the trees can help you see which direction the storm came from. However, the path is often hidden by fallen branches or dragged down by the whiteness. Watch your step, especially near the edges of ponds — the snow gathers so densely there that it’s impossible to see where the mud ends and the water begins.
One of the greatest gifts of snow in forests is the opportunity to study animal tracks. This allows you to see where one deer left the group and then returned, and where the group started in one direction, and then changed to another. Animals are capable of changing their minds. It is a powerful reminder that wild brothers and sisters are just as unique as us.
Snow is a metaphor for clarity, cleanliness and purity. Everything that lies beneath its sheltering blanket — the scarred land, the trash our species always leaves behind — is still there. The snow is only temporary.
But for a moment, sometimes a few days, the woods are yet “lovely, dark and deep,” as Robert Frost so famously put it in “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening.” We have promises to keep of our own — to the natural world, to our own very future — and they are as urgent as any in human history.
Source: NY Times