Some of you are old enough to remember the blizzard of 1978. I was a midwesterner then, a young one. Indiana to be more specific. Northeastern corner to be precise. If I remember correctly, we missed the all-time record number of days of school and in Indiana, at least at that time, school started on one day and ended on another. No exceptions, which meant we never had to make up the days. As a rural kid, heaven.
My family would rise in the dark and turn on the radio, waiting. The announcer would begin listing the school closures and my brother and sister and I would anxiously wait. Those magic words would float across the air and I knew it was another day of bundled up, snowy chaos on the grounds of our country life. No to school. Yes to snowball fights, frozen fingers and tongues out waiting for flakes.
It’s been snowing for twenty-four hours here in Santa Fe. Somewhere around five inches if I had to guess. Warm air, wet snow. Thick, atypical beauty and the silence that always prevails when the Earth turns cold. Lone birds drifting on lonely thermals, their prey easy to spot by fresh tracks and tone on white on white on white.
The city is quiet, toned down and sedentary as pinon smoke hangs in the shallows and parking lots sit empty. Peaks in whiteout mode. A student scrapes a windshield as they warm the engine. Dogs with crusted white beards stand motionless with busts of frozen breath darting ahead. Strangers pass and we just smile. Nothing needs to be said.