Memories of snow

I read the book “Snow” by Orhan Pamuk. There is much to say about the book, but I’ll say nothing, except that upon discussing the novel with Sarah Payok, who
recommended I read it, I recalled some memories of snow, which I have not written down before.

The sound of snow

I meditated often when I was young, but had trouble with mantras, having had no teacher to learn from. Adapting, I turned sounds and rhythms into mantras. We lived on high ground, and the wind often blew. Sitting in my bedroom at night, I returned my mind to the rhythm of the gusts and the soft moans of the wind.

One night the wind ceased its noise, and hard, dry snow flakes fell rapidly. In the quietness, the snow whispered silently on the roof and on the side of the tall, shingled house.

Later, I stood at the window with the musty screen and watched the pitch-blackness of night and snow.


Years ago, I was driving my grandmother and my wife in the Winter in the Keewenaw Peninsula, along the coast of Lake Superior. We rounded a slow corner out of Eagle River, and in a park by the road we suddenly saw a small herd of whitetail deer. They were standing under pine trees, eating bark, legs deep in snow. They appeared to have been standing there for a while, because their backs were frosted with fluffy mounds of snow. They looked like fat, stuffed dolls because their hair bristled out all along their bodies. They were the softest, prettiest deer I’ve ever seen.

A lamp in the snow

Earlier this Winter, I stood in the kitchen of my apartment at 3 AM and lifted the blinds on the window.

I was struck by beauty. Heavy, wet snowflakes were falling, sticking to tree branches and piling in 3-inch high ridges on limbs. The sidewalk had vanished. The landscaping timbers and the bushes were all simply mounds in the snow. The snow was falling at an angle from the North, its fall tilted by the branches. It eddied and spiraled down.

At the center of the scene was a black lamp post. Light beamed from underneath its snow cap and sparkled in the snow crystals. The snowflakes fell from shadows above and settled to rest in the circle of light.

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