I often write poems when I’m on my bike. It’s so easy to let words and phrases roll around in my head, the cadence of stanzas and sets of words mimic-ing the rhythm of my legs going up and down, up and down. The straining of my muscles, the relaxation of my brain, as the sights fly by. Oftentimes, as I see beautiful, strange, confusing, or elusive scenes, my brain immediately tries to find words that capture and paint the scene, to mark it in time as a photographer captures time with light. Sometimes it’s even like an Olympic challenge of realism- trying to describe things I see in the most accurate way possible, so that I can share the moment with the world…
This morning I woke up to a snow storm.
A most unexpected one, which fell silently as we all slept, wrapped up in our dreams, tangled in our covers.
It fell, covering the branches in white mounds, like dresses, or cloaks, protecting the branches from above.
The tiniest snow droplets fall down from the sky, a drizzle of frozen vapor, so light that the slightest breath of wind disturbs their flight.
I grabbed my bike and slowly made my way down the hill, down wet roads, avoiding piles of slush in my descent
As the sun, magnificent and golden, peeked softly through the silent snow, dusting everything with a lacy, delicate light.
The sky, bright blue, peeked at me from behind a fluffy mass of cloud, drifting slowly above me in the sky
And all the while, I breathed it all in, the silent, snowy streets, peaceful, soft and cozy. I knew it wouldn’t be there when I returned.
Down below, where the city lives, all is business as usual. Cars whirring on wet streets, commuters think of their busy days ahead. Some cars glide by with snowy windshields, out of place in a snowless world.
We all find ourselves together on the bridge, as the sun, blinding, reflects itself onto the sidewalk, the brightest of brilliant mornings.
On the bike path, I whiz past puddles, but not too fast that I miss the tees, reflected perfectly upside down in the water- their spindly branches reaching down, just as Anno drew them.
My hands are gloved, clutching at my handlebars, chilly air rushing by, welcome on my flushed face. And the Bottoms are silent, its trees surrounding me on either side, as in an embrace.
On the right, the ground is silenced by a layer of dead leaves, protecting new life just below the surface. The ponds on the left are still but I hear the delighted songs of birds at the height of their day.
As the chilly air hits my nose, I remember my winter world, so far away, so high, almost in the clouds. And I look to the right as a reminder, to see those hills, those green green hills, covered in the lightest dusting, like finely sifted sugar on the top of a birthday cake.
And the clouds lay low on the hills, covering the top- who knows, maybe it goes on forever, this secret world…
But I have known this world, the world of ethereal light and quiet, other-worldly, an escape from time and place, obligation and attachment. A place of wonderment and exploration, dripping branches, and chilled feet…
We celebrate May Day on May 1st, as we pick flowers and rejoice in the height of spring. But this year, let’s celebrate March Day, a reminder that spring is coming, and it may just have to peek itself out from beneath a white blanket.