Friday, November 5, 2010

the smell of winter

The last Sunday morning in October, I sat in the pew and noticed that the air smelled dry, and dusty, like winter. Like Winter, when the furnace blows and the air dries up, and things are dead and brown, and dusty, and scarce on life. That was the last Sunday in October.

The very next day was November, and later in the week brought the first flurries flying in the almost freezing, under an absent-minded sky that scowled, ever so slightly, like it wasn't sure what it was supposed to do.

November is for gray skies. For sunless days that string together like dirty pearls. We all forget what we are supposed to do. We forget who we were, back in the summer. Life ebbs.

Two different people asked me today, as the flurries flew outside, what did I think of the snow? And I said I didn't know yet. I'm not sure what I am supposed to think. I haven't decided. Some people seem surprised by the snow. Others counter with, "What did you expect, it's November!"

I know the snow will pile deep, and then it will shine. It will soften the lines of the landscape and reflect the moon's blue glow. It will sparkle on sunny days and become dotted with sledders on the hills. It will be beautiful. I will love it then. But it will be cold, so cold, and life will ebb some more. Energy fades in the winter. Smiles fade under the colorless skies, and souls need the sun to shine.

But it will be beautiful.

So I don't know what to think, how I feel about the snow that came today. I'm not getting giddy out of a sense of obligation, that's what I'm not. But I'm not hating it, either. Little kids love it, drivers don't. I have no opinion. It's just flurries. It isn't staying yet. Like the smell of winter, it portends, that's all.

(I was challenged by Emily at to write something to join her and a bunch of her friends for "imperfect prose on Thursdays" over at her place. I wasn't sure if I had anything, but I guess I did after all.)


  1. but there is something magical about the first snow. not so much the first experience driving in it, but the snowflakes themselves, especially when big and fluffy, are magical.

    i'm not a fan of winter, but i love that first snowfall. and then i love when it melts and the sun comes back again. :)

  2. We all forget what we are supposed to do. We forget who we were, back in the summer. Life ebbs.

    i ate this prose up. i was hungry for it, and it fed me. how beautifully, how wonderfully, you write. please don't stop, friend. xo

  3. Little bit - yes, sometimes the first snow is magic. Often. Today I didn't feel like magic, I felt dry. So I decided to just let that be what it was. But I agree with you, and I am so glad you can see the magic in life. Big flakes are gorgeous!

    Emily - thank you. How good to know it fed your soul. Again I forgot to link back. I am going to correct that right now. Still getting the hang of this. I usually write for only myself and a few linkless friends. :-)

  4. me...that's me...linkless...and it was me, also, when I thought it said thinkless. (-:
    thanks for your thoughts today. J.

  5. haha! Jayne, you made me smile today. I don't think I have any "thinkless" friends, certainly not you! but I do have friends who I do not link back to, "linkless" ones. Hope all is well in your part of the world!


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