The Book of Snow, 2
What the oak said

In the lull between storms

Snowmelt 1

From "Chronicles of Ice" by Gretel Erlich (Orion Magazine, 2004):

"All over the world the life of rocks, ice, mountains, snow, oceans, islands, albatross, sooty gulls, whales, crabs, limpets, and guanaco once flowed up into the bodies of the people who lived in small hunting groups and villages, and out came killer-whale prayers, condor chants, crab feasts, and guanaco songs.

Snowmelt 2

"Life went where there was food. Food occurred in places of great beauty, and the act of living directly fueled people’s movements, thoughts, and lives.

Snowmelt 3

"Everything spoke. Everything made a sound—birds, ghosts, animals, oceans, bogs, rocks, humans, trees, flowers, and rivers—and when they passed each other a third sound occurred.

Snowmelt 4

"That’s why weather, mountains, and each passing season were so noisy. Song and dance, sex and gratitude, were the season-sensitive ceremonies linking the human psyche to the larger, wild, weather-ridden world....

"When did we begin thinking that weather was something to be rescued from?"

John Bauer copy

These photos were snapped a couple of mornings ago, as Tilly and I rambled through snow-melt in the higher part of the woods; but since then we've had a fresh storm and the land is the Snow Queen's Realm once again. It's very beautiful....and disruptive of schedules, inconvenient for modern life, but that has its value too. Sometimes we just have to stop.


Stand in awe of the world we live in.

The illustration by the Swedish artist John Baeur (1882-1918)