Sunday, March 09, 2008

`Recall the Hum of the Mosquito'

On Jan. 9, 1856, Thoreau wrote in his journal, describing winter in Concord:

“The weather has considerably moderated; -2 degrees at breakfast (it was -8 degrees at seven last evening); but this has been the coldest night probably. You lie with your feet or legs curled up, waiting for morning, the sheets shining with frost about your mouth. Water left by the stove is frozen thickly, and what you sprinkle in bathing falls on the floor ice. The house plants are all frozen and soon droop and turn black. I look out on the roof of a cottage covered a foot deep with snow, wondering how the poor children in its garret, with their few rags, contrive to keep their toes warm. I mark the white smoke from its chimney, whose contracted wreaths are soon dissipated in this stinging air, and think of the size of the wood-pile, and again I try to realize how they panted for a breath of cool air those sultry nights last summer. Realize it now if you can. Recall the hum of the mosquito.”

This morning, my brother, who lives in Cleveland, wrote in an e-mail (pardon the idiosyncratic orthography):

“It snowed for 48 hours .The best looking aftermath features are the snow dunes on top of every house. It looks like frank gehry village or a winter fun in scandinavia poster. Best snowfall ever. I went out driving two times and didn't want to come home, there is so much to look at. There is a snow drift in the backyard that starts by the porch and rises to 5 feet by the time it reaches the fence. across the creek on the opposite hill there are huge overhangs of snow just like in avalanche movies unbelieveable.”

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