Friday, December 12, 2008

Winter on the Salish

Photograph by Alex Shapiro

Winter on the Salish

I’ve noticed that here
in these northern islands
the seasons are a lot better behaved,
with less life-threatening drama.

Oh, there are the once-in-a-decade blizzards
that shut out access
to the world for a few days,
and mighty winds
that down trees
which then block driveways.

Freezes can turn small depressions
in the rural roads
to miniature black ice skating rinks
on which no truck,
tutu or not,
can avoid demonstrating a sloppy figure eight.

Island winters offer variations
from day to day,
and from hour to hour.
The sky changes so rapidly
that it’s more visually entertaining
than clicking channels on the TV remote control.
In my case,
since I don’t get TV reception at the house,
that’s a lucky thing.

The past few days,
for instance,
have alternated between
dark gray rainy ones
with a cloud cover so low
you can’t see the deer standing in the road,
and those so astonishingly bright,
blue, cloudless, sunny and warm
that you can’t believe it’s not a movie set
and the props department is going to show up
and take down the facades
of the perfect islands
in the shimmering water.

Some days offer both extremes in one.
You just never know.
I like this.

Alex Shapiro December 2008

No comments: