Chuck Zumbrun

Tales from Skunk Hill

An Indiana Winter

The Snow Man 

BY Wallace Stevens

One must have a mind of winter
To regard the frost and the boughs
Of the pine-trees crusted with snow;

And have been cold a long time
To behold the junipers shagged with ice,
The spruces rough in the distant glitter

Of the January sun; and not to think
Of any misery in the sound of the wind,
In the sound of a few leaves,

Which is the sound of the land
Full of the same wind
That is blowing in the same bare place

For the listener, who listens in the snow,
And, nothing himself, beholds
Nothing that is not there and the nothing that is.

We haven’t had winter for years now. A few cold days here and there. A snow storm now and then. Highs in the 40’s predicted here all week, the first full week of February.

I look at my firewood and I have well over half of what I cut for this year left, and we probably only have a handful of days left this year when we’ll want a fire to ward off the “Nothing that is not there and the nothing that is .”

Man-made global warming? Normal variations over a geological timescale?

Seems insane to me to believe we could burn fossil fuels accumulated over millions of years in a century and have no consequences.

But whatever the reason, it seems we no longer need, at least here in northern Indiana, a mind of winter.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *