A few days before snowstorm Nemo descended upon us, I learned about the Japanese tradition of hosting “snow-viewing” (yukimo) gatherings. In Boston, the roads are barely plowed and cars are still banned from the streets but until the next thaw arrives, we have plenty of snow-viewing to keep us busy.
A small group of neighbors rose early today before the storm had abated to strap on snow shoes or cross-country skis and head outside to witness a world transformed. The rest of us stayed home to gaze out the window over a cup of hot coffee as the last of the flakes came down.
Around mid-day the snow finally stopped and the wind died. Snow-pants, gloves, and heavy socks were called into service: time to shovel. It was hard to find places to put all that white stuff as piles grew into hills that could easily slide away like small avalanches. So we took frequent breaks to eat handfuls, make snow angels, climb over drifts, and build tunnels. We used the handle of one shovel to measure and discovered that 26 inches had fallen in less than 24 hours.
Now the street is quiet again; everyone has gone back inside. We need to rest knees and backs before we can head back out again into this white wilderness. I doubt it will take long– just a little while ago someone said something about sledding.