I stood outside my Grandmother’s house in the yard. It was one of those western Pennsylvania days of eternal grey, when after the sun rose somewhere on the other side of the cloud layer, one hour looked just like the next until suddenly it would be dark again. Standing out in the yard, where I expected to hear absolute silence, there was instead the sound of the snow falling on snow. Flake upon flake landing with a sigh. White blending with white. The trees reached up with their bare black branches and twigs to catch each white flake, one by one. Layers. The snow falling on snow sounded like a whisper from the center of the universe. Clear. Like a whisper blended with a faint musical hum. It seemed that the Universe was trying to give me a clue, and the snow was the messenger. The air was clear and dry, cutting sharp like a knife, but also gentle as I stood there. As I shifted my weight from one foot to the other, under my feet the snow would crunch, and that crunching sound would mingle with the hum and the whispers to form the natural rhythm of winter.
My Grandmother called out to me, what are you doing out there?
I’m listening to the snow, I replied, in a hushed whisper.