Friday, February 05, 2010

A Beautiful Reminiscence

A very sweet column in the Washington Post by Rachel Machaud remembering snowstorms past.  It truly resonated with me.  I have deep, but vague, memories of confronting the snow with my father.  Unlike Rachel's Dad, my father didn't get paid for his work.  He was the one everyone called to get their stuck car moving, to put on the chains, etc., etc.  But it was friends and family.  And I was his sidekick.  Of course, I hated it at the time.  But I do have fond memories of being up before dawn with him on snowy mornings when school was canceled.   Here's Ms. Machaud's memory:

It is still dark when my father shakes me, cold seeming to radiate from his outside clothes. He touches my shoulder, not wanting to wake my sister in the twin bed.

"I'm awake. I'm awake," I say.

He leaves, and I go to the bathroom, where I put on layers of clothes, nothing good that will get dirty or torn. I walk downstairs and head out to his truck.

While my specifics are different, the mood is very familiar.  It honestly brings a tear to my eye as I think about, and miss, my father.  Another such memory is evoked by a poem by Robert Hayden called, Those Winter Sundays.  Here's an excerpt:
Sundays too my father got up early
And put his clothes on in the blueblack cold,
Then with cracked hands that ached
From labor in the weekday weather made
Banked fires blaze.  No one ever thanked him.
My father died at age 52 when I was 17 years old.  He remains with me in spirit. Maybe it's these kinds of memories that make me love the snow.

Bring it on!

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