Tom Simard

Poetry, Music, and Prose

Sketch 7: Winter

I do love winter.

Nothing compares to the sight of snowflakes falling.  The closest I have come to hearing it expressed is:

“Deep beneath the cover of another perfect wonder
Where it’s so white as snow”

In terms of painting, Lucas van Valckenborch’s Winter:

Winter

Growing up, I was fortunate to be surrounded by snow.  There were snowmen to build and snowballs to throw. Forts were constructed and tunnels dug.  We climbed steep hills with our sleds and then sped down them.

In midwinter after snowstorms we’d carefully remove the storm window of our second floor bedroom, and jump, sinking down into the huge drifts of snow.

Hours upon hours were spent outside until your cheeks were red from the biting cold, and you went inside for a cup of hot chocolate to warm up before you went out again.

In the backyard the creek froze over, and we’d clear it with shovels and brooms.  If you kept skating you’d arrive in the city, which even then I knew led to the whole wide world.

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14 thoughts on “Sketch 7: Winter

  1. If snow was warm, I would love winter too….. :)

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  2. I have added you to my “Thank You” page as a place that people should visit. Thank you for all your “likes”.

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  3. Love the Painting Tom.

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  4. Forest So Green on said:

    I also love winter and snow. I like how you could skate out to the whole wide world :) Annie

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    • Winter has so much to offer.
      It was a great feeling. All these years later I can still see myself on the frozen creek, struggling to stand because of age and a pair of weak ankles and seeing my sister in the distance skating majestically, and believing I could reach distant lands if I so desired.

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  5. Now that snow season is at our throats again, I’m so happy to have this poetic memoir from someone who loves the icy stuff! Thank you, Tom.
    (And you must love Bruegel’s winter scenes, I’m thinking.)

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  6. You weave wonderful images of my snowy past. Thanks, Tom. :-)

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  7. I don’t like winter anymore.
    It’s become more Wyeth than wonderland.
    No longer do I tunnel in or skate on it.
    No longer is snow a release from responsibility,
    Now it’s just an added burden.
    Then there’s the cold I can’t seem to come in from.

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  8. I have always liked “Snow” (the song) in a casual way, but your enthusiasm gives me more appreciation for it. I love it when that happens. I’m not a huge Chili Peppers fan (although a basic knowledge of RHCP is de rigueur around these parts), but I’m very fond of the album immediately preceding Stadium Arcadium (from which “Snow” is taken), “By The Way,” which is inconsistent, like everything by the Peppers I’ve heard, but which contains 4-5 real gems.

    I loved your reminiscence regarding the snowy days of childhood, particularly the detail about the creek freezing over, and the idea that it would take you to the City and to the great wide world beyond. As a child growing up in the sticks, I felt a similar sensation when I’d see train tracks or a creek curving off into a wooded canopy–like it could lead ANYWHERE. Probably not to a city, but over hills and valleys and through forests passing by places I’d never seen. I still feel it, although not with the intensity I did as a child.

    I once felt about winter as you do, but no longer. Until I was 12 I lived where I do now, in a place where it’s only snowed twice in a half-century, and didn’t stick either time. I was so jealous of kids who had real winters, who could ride a toboggan after school or have snowball fights. When I was 12 we moved to Tacoma, Washington, which isn’t exactly snowy, but gets a good storm every few years. That was a delightful, and brief time–it also usually meant we got out of school.

    However, as an adult who has now lived 3//4ths of his life in a Mediterranean-or-warmer climate, I start feeling the chill in my bones when it drops into the low 50s.

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    • “….is inconsistent, like everything by the Peppers I’ve heard, but which contains 4-5 real gems.”
      Interesting observation. I’ve actually not heard much of their music. I think the thing I find most appealing in the stuff I like is the phrasing. I’ll give a listen to By the Way.

      “I felt a similar sensation when I’d see train tracks or a creek curving off into a wooded canopy–like it could lead ANYWHERE. Probably not to a city, but over hills and valleys and through forests passing by places I’d never seen.”
      To the great beyond – a world of wonder.

      “I start feeling the chill in my bones when it drops into the low 50s.”
      T-shirt and shorts weather…

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