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Snow floating, falling, whirling past my windows. Three days of snow — like a book or a song or a fairy tale. Snow unbroken as far as my eye can see — like a wish or a dream or a memory.

The snow covers everything, falling so thick and fast that no one on our hill even tries to drag out a snowblower. Even the plows don’t come. It’s only us and the snow up here on our hill. I think of Christina Rossetti:

Earth stood hard as iron,
Water like a stone;
Snow had fallen,
Snow on snow,
Snow on snow,
In the bleak midwinter
Long ago.

I have always loved snow. Born in December and raised in the mountains, I guess that’s just how it was meant to be; it was bred into my bones. Knee-high snowfalls meant long hours spent digging our way out to the barn, but still I loved the snow for its silence and mystery, for the way it had of turning the familiar into something wondrous and strange.

Grown now, I feel the weight of the snow more heavily. Too many times the snowy months have brought fear and pain and grief. I know now that the silence of winter can sometimes be the end of the story.

And yet part of me still rejoices when I see the snow — still feels the hope and promise in it: The blank slate. The world made new. And as I look out on this newest snowfall, bright now even at night, my thoughts turn to the manuscript I finished in October, the manuscript that now rests cool and quiet in its file, waiting for me come back to it. And I feel promise and hope about that, too.

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