The best 40 minutes: ice crystals

I could see the wave of sparkling items in the snow. It felt like looking up in the sky and seeing a panoply of stars.

snowflakeIt was the last day of February. It had snowed the night before, and I had considered going out to shovel the walk then but I was too tired.

I woke up at about 5:15 a.m. and checked the school closings. Sure enough, both my wife’s and my daughter’s schools experienced two-hour delays. In fact, virtually ALL the school districts had the same, except, of course for the Albany Academies, which were closed. There were four or five inches of snow, but it was slippery underneath.

When my wife’s alarm went off, and she got up, I gave her the news. She proclaimed, “Then I’m going back to bed, ” but not before I grabbed a raggedy pair of pants to shovel snow in. The snow removal timing was geared to the imminent delivery of milk from the local dairy – yes, we have that – and my desire for the fellow not to kill himself on our steps.

As I was removing the snow from the walk, I discovered this magical thing. You know how you can sometimes see the ice crystals sparkle in the snow? That is rather nifty in the day time and indeed was that morning.

But before the sunrise, when the only illumination is the porch light and the streetlight, the lawn area in between is dark. Yet I could see the wave of sparkling items in the snow. It felt like looking up in the sky and seeing a panoply of stars.

Except that one is looking down, and it is much closer, much more intimate, with a representation of the universe at my feet. It was, dare I say, spiritual. I wish I could have taken a photo, but without the skill or equipment, I’m sure it would not have done the moment justice.

As I finished shoveling the sidewalk and cleaning off my wife’s car, the milk truck arrived. I brought him the empties and he handed me a couple bottles. The driver yelled, “This is it for the snow!” From his lips…