Wednesday, January 6, 2010

A Snowy Day in the Garden

When my son was younger, one of my favorite books to read to him was The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats. It would bring me back to the days when bucketfuls of snow falling from the sky was a joyous occasion, one that meant no school and a day of playing outside until our feet were shriveled ice cubes inside our boots. At some point in life, the wonder of a heavy snow fades and is replaced by the prospect of shoveling and slippery commutes.

Tonight is different. A few minutes ago, I looked out onto our front porch and saw beautiful fluffy flakes coming straight down. The kind of snow that says, "I'm going to be here for a while." The forecast through midday tomorrow calls for accumulations between six and eight inches, but I'm looking forward to it for one very simple reason. Mother Nature has started to cultivate the garden in a way that can't be accomplished by hand or hoe. Tomorrow morning, I'll awake to glistening white canvas covering the landscape, underpinning the bones of the winter garden.

We get only two or three heavy snows each winter here in Central Illinois. Instead of dreading the drifts and slush, tomorrow I'm going to savor a snowy day in the garden.

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