A close-up of a yew branch.
Despite one winter storm after another, including the amazing ice storm we just experienced…..
which was sparklingly beautiful, but resulted in power outages and missed trains……
the ice is melting away, falling in percussive chunks onto my studio’s metal roof, and
peek-a-boo: green at last!
Finding their way through leaves and granular, icy snow, after having been buried under at least two feet of snow for months, here they are.
There have been some teasingly warm days here and there, and now we are back to more sleet and possibly some snow. That said, this taste of green is enlivening. It feels perfect for the spiritual season when we are on the cusp of experiencing all things made new.
Here is a photo of last year’s emerging snowdrops. I took the photo on March 7, 2010.
And here is a photo, taken today, of the spot where those snowdrops appeared last March.
What do you think? Do they have a chance? Will they continue to sleep beneath the snow and ice until it melts?
First there was the snowstorm. Then the. Now more snow is predicted tonight. Today, with the rare sunshine, my new camera and I walked around the property. It is a beautiful, enchanted landscape, but the trees and bushes are bowed under the weight of it.
The weather makes me think of Fire and Ice, the Robert Frost poem.
Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great,
And would suffice.
“Fire and Ice” was inspired by a passage in Canto 32 of Dante’s Inferno, in which the worst offenders of hell, the traitors, are submerged, while in a fiery hell, up to their necks in ice: “a lake so bound with ice, / It did not look like water, but like a glass … right clear / I saw, where sinners are preserved in ice.”
In an anecdote he recounted in 1960 in a “Science and the Arts” presentation, prominent astronomer Harlow Shapley claims to have inspired “Fire and Ice”. Shapley describes an encounter he had with Robert Frost a year before the poem was published in which Frost, noting that Shapley was the astronomer of his day, asks him how the world will end. Shapley’s response is that either the sun will explode and incinerate the Earth, or the Earth will somehow escape this fate only to end up slowly freezing in deep space. Shapley then describes his surprise at seeing “Fire and Ice”, which seems to ponder the question of which of these two outcomes will occur, published a year later, and cites it as an example of how science can influence the creation of art, or clarify its meaning. Although the poem does seem to pose a scientific question of how the world may end, most critics agree that this serves to mask the darker meaning of the poem, that flaws of the human heart are capable of leading to the destruction of the world at any time.