from a line by Robert Bly
I don’t know why the snowline stops a few feet short of every house. No doubt there is a simple explanation. Something to do with the warmth inside melting the snow before we notice it. But there is still the surprise that it does. As though it obeyed an order given long ago; a little forbearance shown us by an otherwise indifferent god, caught on a good day and in a better mood. How a man sitting at home alone one evening might take a familiar book from the shelf and opening it at an accustomed place, see for the first time something he never saw before. And believe he has misread it or projected his own interpretation to the printed page, but look again and see he read correctly what the writer always meant to say and realize in that instant he was never alone, through all of it, and never feel that solitude again. Or see his own mortality written on his children’s foreheads and not mind the years creeping up on him and accept the minor role from then on with gratitude and a certain humility, feeling somehow honored by it. How even grief may teach us something, wisdom if it has to, and leave us cleaner and the better for it. Able to wonder at incongruities or the merely insignificant. To look for the evidence of miracles in the most ordinary events of our lives; something holy in snowlines stopping short of every house. Even the empty, the apparently abandoned ones.