Sunday, December 20, 2009

FIRST SNOWFALL

Not long after dawn yesterday morning, I opened the door and stepped onto the porch, whereupon I discovered my beloved ol' riverbank all decked out in a soft mantle of radiant white. The season's first snowfall had arrived during the night—a dazzling couple of inches of fluffy, sticky snow that had pasted itself to the sides of the trees and also lay in cottony clumps along the tops of even the smallest branches. Moreover, it was still snowing—a steady pouring of fine flakes I could just hear sifting down in a sweet, sibilant whisper.
The light was soft and flat, an indistinct luminescent coming from the blanketing white clouds. Trees and their limbs seemed etched against the merging of earth and sky. Only the river moved, a slow ribbon of pale icy-green water.
As snowfalls go, this initial go-around was like a first kiss—gentle, thrilling, but lacking in that depth of intensity needed to award it points for real full-spirited passion. Some things just need time to build, to work themselves out; there's a grace period of exploration and awakening, like the way good wine finds its life amid the darkness of a charred oak barrel. Maturity and strength are mysterious forces, a sort of natural alchemy, and they're seldom found early on. No doubt we'll see heavier, more vigorous snows later in the season. After all, yesterday was still two days short of being officially winter.
My coughing has lessened these past few days. With luck, I'll be well by Christmas. But everything has a time and season; plans made ought to be kept if at all possible—especially if they're important.
I enjoyed a brief walk-around along the riverbank while Moon the dog attended to her business and checked under the junipers for bivouacking sparrows. Then I filled the seed feeders, scattered cracked corn on the ground and on various rocks and stumps, tossed the ducks their breakfast scoops. Chores complete, I came back in and built a fire on the hearth, poured a second cup of coffee while the flames came to life, snapping and popping through the dry kindling and snow-wet large sticks and smaller splits. The day ahead held a long list of important and necessary things to do—a bit of housekeeping, a package or two wrap, a card to write…and a lovely, wonderful lady to get married to in the afternoon.
As if in joyous celebration, the season's first snowfall had set the scene in splendid pristine white!

42 comments:

The Solitary Walker said...

First snowfall here today. That flash of red against the white was sublime. And that last sentence... you tease, you!

Wanda said...

...the season's first snowfall had set the scene in splendid pristine white!

How wonderful and lucky, you had a perfect day for your joyous event and celebration! Congratualations!

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Solitary…

Timing is everything… :-)

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Wanda…

Thank you. It was wonderful. I am lucky. And except for the occasional hack-hack-cough-hack heard upstream and down, and to yon side of the island (a moose, perhaps, or a bear?) a perfect, perfect day.

Bonnie, Original Art Studio said...

What!! You just slip such exciting news in as if it were just another happening on the riverbank!!! I had to read it twice, to make sure I had grasped it properly! Congratulations - a winter white wedding - how perfect!

Now I see where the entrancing exploration of the difference between a sweet,first kiss and the more passionate mature knowing of a later embrace was coming from!

Have a superb day and a joy filled life Scribe. I will get my husband to raise a glass with me this evening to toast my friend's life and love.

BTW, I had a hacking cough on the day we married - and it did not intrude on any of the memories. However, you utter those vows - she will treasure them I'm sure.

Hurrah!!

Gail said...

Hi Grizz-
First - your pictures are stunning - the first snow on your riverbank are captured beautifully - and your words to describe it all entice, enhance and enlarge the view in ways that few are able to express.


" this initial go-around was like a first kiss—gentle, thrilling, but lacking in that depth of intensity needed to award it points for real full-spirited passion. Some things just need time to build, to work themselves out; there's a grace period of exploration and awakening, like the way good wine finds its life amid the darkness of a charred oak barrel. Maturity and strength are mysterious forces,"............ these expressive words strung together like a somg thrilled me. :-)



".........…and a lovely, wonderful lady to get married to in the afternoon."

Congratulations Grizz - she is a lucky gal - you are a "real man" - the kind my Dad and Skipp would respect. What a wonderful Christmas gift for you both - to be married and to live and share and be at peace on the riverbank with all its' offerings. Pure delight. I wish you and your bride all life's best.
Love Gail
peace.....

madcobug said...

Those birds were outstanding in their brilliant colors against the snow. The river was perfect with its surrounding white trees. I bet that wedding was perfect also. Congratulations are in order. Glad that cold is better. Helen

Penny said...

What stunningly beautiful photos. Here it is sea and sun. What a day to remember. Congratulations.

Jenn Jilks said...

Lovely, tranquil post. Our snowfall was massive, and sudden. It didn't ease in at all. And yet, it snoweth anew! Our area had between 60 and 140 cm of snow, 100 cm = 39", all in two days.
Hope you are well, soon.

Bernie said...

Grizz, Congratulations and you have picked the perfect day....I wish you both much happiness and many blessings.......:-) Hugs

Kelly said...

...such a beautiful post....narration and photos. The Little Miami is hard to beat after a snowfall. I spent yesterday birding the Great Miami River in the the snow for a dawn-to-dusk Christmas Bird Count (I have to say, although I saw some great new birds, an American White Pelican and Pipits)...I prefer the lovely Little Miami. Glad you're starting to feel better.

Jain said...

What a wonderful post! Congratulations and best wishes, Scribe!

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Bonnie…

Please do have that toast—and enjoy! And thank you for your lovely comments.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Gail…

I believe you would have enjoyed the low-key yet meaningful ceremony…fifteen minutes, tops, in front of the fire, with snow falling just beyond the big windows and the river sliding like green quartz below.

Thank you for your sweet words.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Helen (madcobug)…

As perfect as it could be in a riverbank sort of way—coughing, falling snow, warming fire, and quacking ducks.

That redbirds is pretty against the snow, isn't he!

Thank you for your comments.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Penny…

Winter beautiful finally came to Ohio…and in perfect time, too!

Thank you!

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Jenn…

Much of yesterday's snow has melted—but more is said to be on the way. I'm planning on being well by Christmas.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Bernie…

Thank you. I don't know if we picked the day or the day picked us—but it was perfect.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Kelly…

The charm of a smaller river is impossible to beat. I know both Miamis well…and I'll always that the Little Miami, too. Yesterday had to be a great day to be afield, though perhaps not such a great day for birding.

Thank you…

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Jain…

Thank you so much. Always good to hear from a fellow riverbanker.

giggles said...

Beautiful............. I love the snow...and the envelope of peace it seems to bring with it....

Lynne at Hasty Brook said...

GASP!!

Your river view is beautiful frosted with snow!

Richard said...

Congratulations Griz. What a wonderful Christmas gift for both of you.

Rowan said...

What a wonderful surprise at the end of this post! I wish you and your new wife every happiness together.
The photographs are just beautiful especially the one with the red cardinal, the perfect bird to appear against this snowy background.

giggles said...

Oh darn.... I am so busted..... I skimmed...a lot too quickly....

Congratulations!!!! I wish you and yours a lifetime of happiness together!!!!!

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Lynne…

It is especially beautiful given the right snowfall—though beautiful most of the time, regardless of weather or season. But sometimes I look out and think: this can't be where I live; no way do I deserve to be so blessed!

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Richard…

The best Christmas gift ever. Thank you.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Rowan…

I think at the same moment I made the photograph of this male cardinal—which was in the hackberry just beyond the edge of the deck—there were 4 or 5 additional red-dressed males scattered within a dozen feet—plus about as many females. I wish I could have gotten them all in the same shot. The tree was simply decorated with redbirds!

And …thank you.

Carolyn H said...

Griz: Lovely snow photos amidst the creek! I'm glad you are feeling better, too.

Carolyn H.

Robin said...

Whoa.....

Congratulations!

What a wonderful scene for a wedding.

What a great eye captures it.....

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Giggles…

Well, thank you…and thank you for a good chuckle this morning. It took a lot of courage to come out of the closet and admit to being a skimmer.

Now I know that was the only time you're ever skimmed these posts, right? So we'll just say it was the holiday season and cold weather, and possibly the imminent prospects of a fat man who usually lives with short people and animals slipping into your home during the dark of night, which distracted you momentarily from your usual studious perusal of my erudite scribblings.

All is forgiven.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Carolyn…

Thank you; I am feeling better, coughing much less and getting some rest. I want to be able to get out and enjoy this winter weather soon.

We had a bit of snow last night, though it didn't paste itself to the sides of the trees. Pretty, but not as pretty as the snow in the photos.

giggles said...

Yeah, that.... and being more of a visual person...coming to appreciate the written word only later in life..... Thanks for forgiveness...and glad you enjoyed a chuckle!!!!! (I didn't know that the truth would not only set me free, but make others laugh as well!!!!)

Enjoy the holiday, mightily....

The Weaver of Grass said...

My goodness, you kept that quiet, Scribe. Many many congratulations - I do hope the whole day went off splendidly. And thank you for fulfilling my request and posting pictures of your beautiful river with its mantle of snow. Have the most wonderful Christmas ever.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Giggles…

That's the pleasure of friends, all the joy and laughter they share.

You just gave me a gift a bit early. Thank you!

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Weaver…

First, thank you for your nice comments.

It wasn't so much my being secretive as simply being so sick and overwhelmed by everything that needed to get done—including Christmas stuff, of course. Understand, the decision was not even made until after Thanksgiving. I simply didn't have time to properly announce our intentions. In fact, most things didn't get finalized until the last week, including the date (milady's birthday, BTW), license, rings, minister, and vows to be exchanged, which I wrote out that very morning.

I'm still sick (though lots, lots better and improving daily), still behind with everything else. And here's where you get to feel special…I haven't yet gotten around to telling any of my friends or family, editors, neighbors, or anyone who doesn't read this blog. That may not come about until sometime next year.

So you see, there was (and still is, probably) ample astonishment to go around.

But hey, I did get you those promised snow scenes, plus a sassy old redbird to boot!

Sydney said...

I went looking for a post from you about he big snow that happened all across the midwest and East adn I found it. The riverbank looks stunning and your words to me create visuals almost better than your excellent pictures.

I have wondered about you.. and your life... how you got there on the bank, and the time you seem to have found for writing and replying to comments and to reflect on what you see... then to write so masterfully about it on a regular basis. I've admired all that... but did wonder how a poet and tenderheart would be on his own. And boom, your last line came in. I count myself lucky to be in on your good news! The picture of you two standing in front of the fire with the snow falling ... I just have a feeling that it's a pretty darn great sign. May all your days going forward together be as magical. Congratulations dear friend!

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Sydney…

As you can see from the photos, the big snow which fell upon many surrounding states missed this corner of Ohio. What we received was pretty, but minor—only a couple of inches at most.

There's just no accounting for God's goodness and mercy…and sometimes you're given a blessing that not only exceeds anything you might ever merit, an undeserved grace that astonishes you with it's wonder. To find someone who could know me and still love me is nothing short of a miracle.

Thank you for your lovely words…and Merry Christmas!

KGMom said...

Well well well--you got me. I have been rushing around, and around December 20 I was grading final exams (grades had to be entered on Dec. 21 by noon).
Anyway. . .I missed TOTALLY MISSED the big news.
Not that you trumpeted it or anything.
But, welcome to the "married in December" club. My husband's and my anniversary is December 28. The day we were married (in 1967) it began snowing in the morning, snowed all day--for our 8 p.m. service. It was a lovely WHITE wedding.
Congrats again. Sorry for being so distracted.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

KGMom…

I remember that on my Aunt Grace's bookshelves she had a novel called "December Bride," by, I think, Grace Livingston Hill. I guess we sort of fulfilled that title (it was also my bride's birthday) and managed, in the midst of everything, to pull our wedding off. The river and snow just made it beautiful—and I'm so glad and so blessed.

Thank you for your words—they're appreciated whenever they come. I know it was a busy time. We barely managed ourselves!

Sydney said...

Ah, lovely. :-)

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Sydney…

Thank you. It was lovely.