It is very wet, almost slush before it hits the ground, but it sticks and will stay and by morning we may have four to six inches of it. My children did not wait for it to accumulate but were outside making snow people out of virtually nothing. At least one of the kids has no snow pants that we could find, and I need a couple of new pallets to lay before the back door where the ice builds up on the path, but if winter is truly here we are ready, now, and mostly willing.
I drove home through the early part of the storm, and in the higher elevations it was heavy and thick while lower down the roads were still warm enough to melt what fell. I remembered that my high beams merely light up the swirling flakes. I thought of how it feels to be in silent woods with snow on the ground and more falling, of how "the moon on the breast of the newfallen snow" is one of the loveliest lines in Clement Clarke Moore's classic. Of sledding at night in those wide fields behind the schoolhouse, and what tracks in the snow reveal to my otherwise impotent senses.
I like my winters white and cold. I like pond ice that freezes fast and black. I like the way the frost gets in my beard, and the winter stars spill their constellations across a moonless sky. I like how ice freezes on the rock face, blue where it is new, in draperies that reveal the hidden falls high on the mountainside.
My Vermonter wife curses the white stuff and says that only a flat-lander is fool enough to abandon the wood stove, but at its best the snow is a comfort to me, and feels right. It softens the edges, amplifies and enhances the architecture of the woodlands and the scoured outcrops. It covers the deep wounds in the land until spring, and lightens the hearts of my housebound offspring. Shoveling is a small price to pay, especially for the first snow of the season.