Winter treasures revealed

If it were up to me, I would keep the ground
covered in snow all winter. But, like most things in life,
such a thought is frivolous, out of my control,
like many of life’s circumstantial worries.

But the snow, nice as it is, can’t and
doesn’t last forever. Its demise is inevitable,
as predicable as a January thaw, which is exactly
what eliminated the precious white blanket.

Thing is, I am always amazed at the treasurers
revealed once the snow seeps away, quietly
unnoticed until the ugly winter ground holds
only remnant piles, shoveled or blown, of the previously
fluffy stuff left to torment us of what once was.
With the snowy splendor gone, the yard becomes
a discombobulated rummage sale, strewn with
natural and unnatural items, once sandwiched unseen
between the serene snow and the frozen earth.

Colonies of earthy molehills, a windblown
ribboned evergreen wreath, mourning dove feathers
plucked and neatly deposited in a near perfect
circle on the back porch, where the long-eared owl
or Cooper’s hawk had sat on the railing devouring it.
A lone Budweiser Light can (this is Amish country),
indiscriminately tossed from a speeding car under the guise
of the new moon, now peppered with the snow’s enemy,
grit cascaded by the dutiful snowplow on the adjacent roadway.

There’s more, much more. No need to continue.
By now, you have the depressing picture of the expansive
treasure trove exposed by the sad vanishing of the beloved snow.

Bruce Stambaugh
Jan. 20, 2010

K Hertzler Art

Artist and nature journalist in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.

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Art is the only way to run away without leaving home. -Twyla Tharp

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writer. teacher. podcast cohost.

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We are all just babes in the woods.

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