the snow falls is often a cold day but bright with the sun. The clouds that mark the snow bearing front have passed and the northwest wind, the driver of blizzards in these parts, brings air from Canada, cold and clear.
Its the pleasant scene that people in places without snow picture when they think of winter and Christmas. Clean whiteness everywhere, dark tress highlighted with frost, and warm houses with chimney smoke dotting the streets of a small village. Light comes from windows as the sun settles in the evening and children flow down the hills in sleds.
It’s not like that, of course. Those days, even if they ever existed, are long past. The snow is gone soon after it falls, plowed away by a phalanx of orange trucks. The wheels of commerce are seldom slowed even by the largest storm and the morning after they will quickly spin back to life. A moment looking out the window and seeing simply the snow, and feeling its quiet, is always short lived.
Yet its a good moment, one of those rare times when business stands still and its normal courses are interrupted for something larger, the courses of nature and the snow that has fallen on this land, despite the tall buildings, endless miles of wires, and every built in convenience, since the Mississippi River flowed not far from this place, unfettered and on its journey to the sea.