Phyllis Beveridge Nissila
Announced by all the trumpets of the sky,
Arrives the snow, and, driving o’er the fields,
Seems nowhere to alight: the whited air
Hides hills and woods, the river and the heaven,
And veils the farm-house at the garden’s end.
The sled and traveller stopped, the courier’s feet
Delayed, all friends shut out, the housemates sit
Around the radiant fireplace, enclosed
In a tumultuous privacy of Storm…
Ralph Waldo Emerson, “The Snow Storm” (source)
As Emerson reveals in his poem, there’s something about snow that transforms, quiets, suggests, inspires, and invites one to hearth and reverie (but quick! close the front door!).
Else why would there be so many poems about snow similar to his?
But here in the bleak world we have made of our century so far, facing a very different kind of “tumultuous…Storm,” this one of clashing political ideologies, we are not inspired by some driven snow blanketing the landscape as much as we are driven by a darkened landscape of chaos that leaves little time or energy for nature’s simple mystery and magic.
Her solace and comfort.
One can almost hear silvery choruses rise from that Cathedral in the Field, imagine some soft respite awaiting the traveler at the rail’s end…and who might be there ahead.
I read somewhere today that it might be a good idea to go out in nature for a little while in this time of isolation and quarantine. But even if we live in a different climate or on some anger-scarred urban asphalt, it’s still possible. For example, below.