There is always snow in Stamford, NY. Enough to make at least one snowman, maybe two. Enough to roll down the hill carelessly, knowing no winter gear can stop the snow from sneaking around your neck and boots, or under your jacket.  

But it did not arrive for Christmas this year. It didn’t arrive after, either. Driving up north towards Montreal and back did not bring snow. Some remains of snow from another age were visible but quickly disappearing, with temperatures over 40 degrees and steady rain. 

With each mile I sank down more and more in my car seat and my thoughts and wondered. Why do I love snow so much. Why do I crave it?

It’s not that I was born in the winter 

And my baby cradle was made of snow 

It’s not that I played Frozen as a child, way before Disney turned it into a movie—my house a castle of snow and I, the queen

It’s not even that I vibrate to the sound of snow 

But it’s the idea of no snow that makes me wonder 

How can I tell this silly heart of mine 

That she can glitter with joy like the snowman in the winter sun 

Or shiver with the pleasure of the most sensual kiss at the taste of snow

That she can melt like the snow at the first sign of new life in the spring 

How can I tell her?

How can I? 

How can one?

If there is no snow…

When I don’t know what to do I pray. Sometimes prayers take form on a canvas. I trust the canvas with so many of my fears, my hopes and my dreams.

This time it was a winter prayer. Like a winter tale.

I took the woods in my line of sight, bare and cold, covered them with a soft coat of snow, and then went to bed.

Snow arrived before the break of dawn

Its silence woke me up. Or maybe it was the plows 

All was white and oh so beautiful!

I was a child again. I did not take it for granted

My heart was shielded, I thought

It didn’t last long, overpowered by the unwelcomed rain

But I took it as a promise

The promise of a white season

The promise of a climate

Still functioning

I was encouraged that somehow my prayer was heard.

Could I paint more snow and see what happens?

If this is all it takes, I can paint snow every day, I thought. And I did.

Not every day, but I painted our friends red barn under the snow.

With no snow in the forecast, it snowed again.

All was white and oh so beautiful!

My heart another winter’s tale. Snow White perhaps.

I could have stopped here, but encouraged by the power of the prayer I wanted to test it again. No I haven’t painted more snow. I allowed the winter tale to follow its course.

I moved on to something else.

It was a spring sunny day. The sky was blue and the alliums were bursting with purple softness, their reflection on the wall bordering the garden, a quiet  presence. A bird was flying high up in the sky. As it approached I noticed it was holding something in its beak. All of a sudden, the wall started to shimmer with a new light. The light of peace. To be continued.