Faye Rapoport DesPres

It is what it is

I wonder if there is a pithy lesson or thoughtful metaphor I can draw from the snow that has been falling on Boston. It seems as if the snow has been falling forever, non-stop, although of course that’s not the case.

Snow has been used as a metaphor for so many things. The first that comes to mind is obvious — snow as the thing that blankets, covers, erases, hides imperfections, turns even unsightly city streets into scenes of picturesque beauty.

But as I sit here in my home office, looking out the window at the latest snowfall, it is remaining, stubbornly, on one level. It isn’t tripping down any stairs in my head, stumbling onto something deeper or more interesting. It is just snow. The snowflakes are falling gently from the sky, almost vertically, so I know they must be heavy and the wind must be slight. They are adding yet another layer to the huge mounds of snow that sit next to the barely shoveled driveways and plowed streets.

Instead of filling my mind with ideas, the snow is quieting it.

A house across the street and slightly up the hill sits directly in the line of sight of my office window. The house used to be yellow, but this summer the new owners, a young couple, painted it an orangey-tan. It is small, one level, with a slanted roof, white windows, and reddish-brown shutters. A large evergreen bush grows next to the front door, and another grows in front of a window on the side. The roof, the awning above the front door, and the green bushes are all covered with snow.

I don’t know the people who live in the house, but I know that they are married, and that the husband drives a large FedEx truck. I see the truck parked in front of the house everyday at lunchtime. I also heard, from a neighbor, that he plays bass in a band. His wife recently had a baby. Once, during the warmer months, I heard the baby crying through an open window.

So I’m sitting at my desk, looking out the window at this mustard-tan house with its reddish-brown shutters, thinking that inside there is a mother and a baby, while outside it is snowing. And I’m not sure that any of that means anything. But I’m not writing an essay right now, I’m just blogging. The scene is just the scene.

Sometimes it’s a relief when nature quiets my mind. It’s nice to let the snow just be snow.

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