Sunday, December 07, 2003

First Snow

Congratulations to the east coast, on your first dump of the season.

Living in San Mateo, we drive to the snow. It gets chilly enough here, to justify a winter fire. I know it's not the most environmentally conscious thing to do, but hey, fire is natural. Momma Nature has 4 elements and likes them all equally well. Only man, in our dense urban, petroleum-based existence, fret about a few home fires. If only curtailing the burning of a few logs was the solution.

Pacific Coast winter skies are often crystalline clear. Oh great benevolent Pacific, do you never get pissed off? Instead of a blanket of snow, we sometimes have dense, ground hugging, Tule fog. It's a special morning when we can go out back and see the valley below as a white, silent river. In the High Sierra, staring into deep space on a clear night is better than being an astronaut.

As winter sets in back east, I would rarely look to the skies. Normally there's very little there to see. A cellblock ceiling of gray. Yet I do miss the excitement of that first snowfall. The lunge into winter. The media tries to make it into a mini-disaster; which is ludicrous. It's a celebration. Slush sucks; but snow boots were fun. Galoushes (sp?) are wrong.

One year in high school, I broke all the tarsals in my left foot, playing soccer. I still had a walking cast on, when the first snow fell. At the same time, the first solo Lennon album came out. Or, at least, I bought it at that first snow of the season. Me and two friends hiked through the woods (and over a stream, not a river) to another friends house, to play it for the first time. It's a beautiful winter record. My cast disintegrated in the wet and my toes were nearly frostbit. I had to have the cast reset. My doctor was very annoyed with me. To this day, my foot isn't completely 'right.' I can look down at my left toes, pointing to 10 o'clock, and remember "Remember." Could that first-snow listening session have been on the 5th of November?

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