Wednesday, March 21, 2018

On The Second Day of Spring

A Winter Storm Warning is in effect on this second day of spring. A Winter Storm Warning means significant amounts of snow, sleet and ice will make travel very hazardous or impossible. All public schools in the area are closed.  A “Special Weather Statement” has just been issued:  “Mixed snow, sleet, rain and freezing rain will change to all snow by 9 AM this morning throughout the I-95 corridor.  Temperatures will fall to freezing…Snowfall rates of one half to 1 inch an hour will develop…Travel is discouraged…throughout the Interstate 95 corridor.”  Eight to twelve inches of snow is expected between now and 7 PM this evening.  Spring has sprung!  Yet, as John Steinbeck wrote, “The winter seemed reluctant to let go its bite.  It hung on cold and wet and windy long after its time.”

All the quotes about spring, new life, daffodils and such that I’ve collected  over the years in my “Notes of Note” and “Gleanings from Readings” notebooks seem inappropriate (or out of season) on such a wintry day. There is a Word, a Poem, a Saying, a Story, however,  for everything.  Ella Wheeler Wilcox comes through on a wintry March day with her poem,  “A March Snow.” The poem even has a spring-like tone and the promise of new beginnings.

Let the old snow be covered with the new:
The trampled snow, so soiled, and stained, and sodden.
Let it be hidden wholly from our view
By pure white flakes, all trackless and untrodden.
When Winter dies, low at the sweet Spring’s feet
Let him be mantled in a clean, white sheet.

Let the old life be covered by the new:
The old past life so full of sad mistakes,
Let it be wholly hidden from the view
By deeds as white and silent as snow-flakes.

Ere this earth life melts in the eternal Spring
Let the white mantle of repentance fling
Soft drapery about it, fold on fold,
Even as the new snow covers up the old.

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