Memories on a snowy day
We planted the crabapple tree on the same day that Roger Daly, our neighbor to the north, planted the locust tree.
Showered by the same rain, warmed by the same suns, they grew into what they would be.
The locust is a giant, the crabapple is much less, compact and rather indecisive when it comes to how its branches have grown.
My exquisite rhodedendrons live happily underneath the crabapple, planted a few weeks before our oldest graduated from high school as were the virburnum and the exquisite dogwood on their south sides. They have grown together, often with branches and flowers intertwining.
In the spring, their flowering leaves me breathless with their beauty. Even the locust, with its massive branches has joined the entwining leaves. The group of trees and shrubs provide cooling shade and a lovely privacy for those who sit on our porch on a summer day. Not today.
It’s early morning. The gray sky hides a sun that we are promised will appear later.
I’m sitting on the loveseat in my living room and watching the snow filter down through the branches of the crabapple to cover the rhododendrons with a winter frosting.
The crabapple with its gnarled branches is now a tracery of white, capturing snow in intricate patterns, some of which meet and provide a delicate roof over the vegetation below.
The dogwood with its horizontal habit has the look of a wedding cake, its layers all white against the gray sky. The branches of the viburnum provide a gentle connection between the two.
It’s quiet. Snow quiet. The day that beckons me to do warming things, to bake a cake, finish a knitting project, make some eucalyptus perfumed beeswax, a reminder of my grandmother and my mother who both used eucalyptus to ward off or ease the congestion of a winter cold.
My youngest grandson is plagued with allergies and recurring colds. Maybe these little pots of beeswax and eucalyptus will help.
But first, and this seems to be mandatory of late, I have to wander through some memories, memories of snow forts and sledding and bundling children up with home knitted scarves and mittens attached to sleeves with clips.
Memories of Vaseline on faces to protect young skin from the cold. Memories of young adults with skis, laughing joyous trips to Song Mountain, hot chocolate and songs on the way home. Memories when I would tell my just awakening children, “It’s a snow day.” JOY.
My little grandsons are crafting similar memories, without the handmade paraphernalia, for their parents.
The steam is up in the radiators, announcing its presence with the odd knocking noises that it makes as it travels from the basement up to the bedrooms. It too is a comforting sound, a reminder that we have been able through all of our years to provide, not only the necessities, but also the ability on such a morning to wander through memories and plan less than necessary things to do.
A snow plow passes by. The world is awakening and I have to find my day amidst the trees in my yard and the memories they call forth.