How to appreciate snow

Photo credit: finlandlive.info

In Finland,

I learned to be a

Connoisseur of winter.

There, near the arctic circle,

Over generations of plodding survival,

Folks have passed down small

Observations and

Wisdoms

About winter, snow and cold

That they carry with them like

Small, warm nuggets in their pockets

To wrap cold fingers around.

One thing I learned:

Snow makes darkness bearable.

In a place where you might not see the sun for weeks or months,

A coating of white snow

Suffuses the murky black nights and

Tentative gray days with sudden

Brightness and

Lightness

From the ground,

Like the earth is glowing.

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Writing in Helsinki

My second book I wrote in Helsinki.

We had a one-bedroom apartment

Above a YMCA,

And our windows looked out on

Snowy pine trees.

The entryway to our apartment was a

U-shaped staircase with a landing,

And above the landing was a huge window and wide window sill.

I would sit in the window sill and paint wine bottles.

For writing,

I would move the rocking chair to the top of the staircase

So I was facing the window and the snowy trees,

The stairs falling away below me.

It gave the illusion that the

Room

Had

No

Floor,

Like I was floating toward the

Snowy pine trees

With my notebook in my lap

And a pen entwined in my fingers.

I finished that book in a different apartment.

Less geometrical.

But by then I was

Pregnant,

And my growing belly gave the space

The dimension it needed.

I finished the novel Aug. 20

And my son was born Aug. 22.

Creating, creating.