Friday, November 21, 2008

The smell of snow

We have had a few days of cold, crisp weather here. Last night as I was shutting down the computer I glanced at the weather information on the side of my Yahoo page, in the place where I have all "my" cities, and Greensboro, at the top, said "partly overcast."

I went out to the car around 11:00 p.m. to retrieve a bag of books and papers I had brought in from the office. Although the sky was indeed a little overcast, the air was still crisp. There was a smell in the air that brought me straight back to winters in the Alps, as surely as Proust's madeleine triggered his childhood memories. I thought to myself "it smells like snow" and breathed deeply, wondering how this smell and feel had come to North Carolina in November.

Around 6:45 a.m. I got up, started padding around the house, and looked out the window, and lo, there was snow.

There is not even an inch, but the ground is covered, and the trees, and the car, on November 21 in Greensboro.

I felt impossibly happy, as if winter vacation at age ten or a northern New England weekend in my thirties or forties had returned.

Who needs meteorologists? The smell was in the air.

10 comments:

Algernon said...

That is such a nice feeling. Sometimes if I simply catch a certain glow through the window in my peripheral vision, I feel as if it is winter break and I'm in jammies.

Jane R said...

That's exactly it.

Chris said...

We had snow out this way earlier in the week. S. and I went out for a walk in the morning and it really started coming down a few minutes later (though nothing stuck).

It's pretty nice to have snow once or twice a year! :-)

Ken said...

It very rarely snows right on the Jersey Coast, but when it does...oy. You are marooned indoors all day, but it stays postcard-pretty for a day or two.
By contrast, snow in New York City was always like a gift-from-God photo by Alfred Stieglitz. A day later it looked grungy and gray.

PseudoPiskie said...

And I woke up to a mere 14 inches of the heavy wet white stuff this morning. With more falling off and on all day. I wonder how the cats get around but they do. There are little trails in all the usual places. I leave the garage door up a bit for the cats and today found a snowbird trapped in the garage because it insisted on flying high. It took awhile but I was finally able to herd it out.

Grandmère Mimi said...

Jane! What a gift! You can smell snow! Surely your gift should be put to good use for the benefit others besides you. Your snow sounds lovely. Every ten or fifteen years or so we get snow that covers the ground, and it looks beautiful, but life grinds to a stop, because we are not prepared for it.

Kitten said...

My aunt relocated from Westchester County, New York, to Wilmington, NC, about 3 years ago. During her first snowfall there, she was amazed at how the locals acted as if they had never seen snow before, seeing how it rarely snows down there.

I can't wait for the first snowfall in CT. They've been predicting it for days, but alas, no flakes. Then again, I haven't smelled it, either. It's a nice, clean, fresh smell that I rather enjoy. :)

The Cunning Runt said...

We've had a bit here in Massachusetts, and now the ground is freezing pretty solid, so the next snow fall will be a keeper.

I love winter, and have a hard time imagining being without it.

Thanks for appreciating your little bit of it, Jane - it makes me less inclined to take the big bits for granted.

it's margaret said...

We had a few exciting and glorious flurries --but nothing to stop us in our tracks and take our breath away.... or intice us with its smell.

I hope you had a glorious and glistening snowy day!

johnieb said...

No snow yet--only hopes--but a fire felt very nice tonight.

I did, however, make the annual pilgrimage to replace last year's glovres today. They didn't have ant mufflers in shocking bright colors--boo hoo: lavender or pink; something electric.