first flakes

IT SNOWED A BIT yesterday. Or sleeted. Or rained. Or something in between all three. Beyond our window, November served up varieties of frosty precipitation. It was greeted in different ways by the cafe goers around me. Some people said that it was colder than usual for this time of year. Others said, “I love winter. Bring it on.” And Greenport grows more remote and northern with each strong gust of wind. The sidewalks, rife with pedestrians into October, are now still and vacant. At 8 AM, I was the only person on Main Street, until a police officer walked by and wished me a boisterous, “Good morning!” The daylight is more subdued now, as are the colors in the trees. In this shadowy atmosphere, even the colors of the facades of the many Greek Revival and Victorian homes have acquired a powdered, pastel-like consistency. I like it. I am not built for the north, not built for the cold, but it doesn’t drain me of moisture, doesn’t blind me with sun. I liked it last year when we woke up north of Helsinki and saw the white on the ground. It consoled you, relieved you, perked you up after those dreary late autumn trips to Ikea where the air seemed musty and thick with darkness. The cold is unrelenting, unforgiving, ruthless. And yet it is satisfying to the eyes and the fingers and the soul in some monastic, masochistic way.

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