Nov 6, 2012
The Winter Which Comes Tomorrow
So many days after Sandy, the heavy yellow and red dump trucks come following their clawed and scooping leaders along our road. They are lifting bucketloads of dirt and leaves from the side of the road, the woods’ side, to ensure a clean and safer passage for this road’s travelers come winter, the winter which comes tomorrow.
They say it’s supposed to snow, the first of the season. But my friend on the phone told me she heard it’s only rain that will come. It has felt like winter for days. Autumn has been cold enough, and last night letting Vinny out to relieve herself, my flashlight made the stiffening green leaves of the grass sparkle. It was as if the night sky had tripped and accidentally spilled a blanket of tiny stars on the lawn. Walking carefully in the dark, with only my one-beamed view, the glittering earth turned me upside down. Instead of ground, I had a gray-green, textured and cushiony, crunchy and dressed-up, shimmering sky to walk on.
Today the windows are irregularly painted with transparent drops of water, concentrated into rhythmic shapes in horizontal stories along the glass. They appear as graphs of cold watery data, a hieroglyphic tale of war and peace, or, seen from a different perspective, the ragged condensation along the bottom edge resembles the tops of evergreen trees, without the ever or the green. This dewy paint will fade soon enough, if given a sun’s chance, and these impermanent rhythms will change, the tales will die, the tree tops will be gone forever. There will be new ones tomorrow, more lasting perhaps, depending on the cold, on the winter which comes tomorrow, but we will not read them any more carefully.