Those lyrics, from the holiday song Night of Silence by Daniel Kantor,* have been sifting through my mind the last two days. With my garden buried deeply in snow, and winter officially still about ten days away, knowing that spring will come is already a lovely thought. The snow is the cozy quilt my garden needs to survive the cold. And there is a unique beauty in winter…
I have not touched my sewing machine at all this week. Last Monday, I woke up with a headache. I rarely get headaches. An unusual odor was coming from the basement. Turned out that our 46-year-old gas boiler was back-drafting, complete with flames coming out the bottom. After shutting off the gas, my son and I cleared out. When the house was aired out, and the gas company cleared us for going back in, the lovely 10 degree weather moved inside along with us. Space heaters are not a great answer during a Minnesota winter, but by Wednesday night we had a lovely new gas boiler and were cozy again. Just in time. A major blizzard moved in Friday night through Saturday evening, dumping 20 inches of new snow on top of the piles already on the ground. Howling winds drove the snow sideways, and the windchill, even this morning, was -25F. At times I could not see the garage from the house. My 29-yr-old son was in and out shoveling all day. We marvelled at the birds, trying to fly to the feeder against the wind. Sometimes a gust caught them and pushed them into the glass. It was snowing so hard, the color of the cardinals was lost to us inside.
Minnesotans are generally good Winter People. Stubborn ones too. When the forecast for a blizzard comes, the urbanites tend to wait until the snow is a few inches deep before hitting the grocery store, suspecting it will blow over us. We are used to snow and ice on the roads, so we rarely hesitate to go out. This time? There are still hundreds of cars in ditches here, but by early Saturday, most people had decided to hunker in and ride it out. Even snowplows were being pulled off the roads–it is hard to plow when you cannot see 30 feet ahead of you.
Snow can bring a muffled sense of silence. During the storm, the only sounds outside were winds, my melodious wind chimes, and a few snowblowers. Later in the day a occassional car ventured out, and the sound of tires spinning on the street out front was pretty common. This was followed by the sound of frantic shoveling, and people shouting as they pushed.After all the drama, we are left with the special beauty of a snowy winter dazzling all around us. It may be bitter cold, but the sun is shining and the snow is full of sparkling ice gems. The wind has made ripples on the uncrusted snow, little paw prints are scattered across the pristine surface.
We will be shoveling more today. We will be searching for places to pile the snow. The street has yet to be plowed. Children will venture out with sleds despite the cold. I am glad that to be cozy inside. I am ready to get back to my projects.
Alas, no Viking football to watch while I sew today. Overnight the roof of the Metrodome collapsed, but the Vikings’ game had already been postponed as the NY Giants’ flight to the Twin Cities had been diverted to Kansas City.
This large storm is still pounding on parts of the country this morning. There will be other storms, more stories. Winter will begin in a few days, a long one for us it appears.
But underneath the snow, the roses are sleeping.
*You can hear “Night of Silence,” by Daniel Kantor, performed at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B5TKPOyNNb8&feature=related or read the complete lyrics at http://www1.assumption.edu/chapelchoir/audio/rejoice/night_of_silence.html.
©2010, The Curious Quilter, thecuriousquilter.net, maryeoriginals.com.