We've had more than 30" of snow in the last week -- it is truly "Snowmaggedon". The snow is beautiful. Every tree is frosted with snow, each branch outlined. The streets are fresh and clean, coated with a sparkling blanket of blue-white. I've seen this emerge even with a light dusting of snow, as we had last week. But this massive snowfall transforms the landscape. Our front yard is unrecognizable -- all of its distinctive landmarks are completely submerged, leaving only a homogenous, undulating snowbank, rising more than three feet above the ground level. The driveway hosts two enormous snowdrifts which completely obscure the cars within them. One neighbor's evergreen tree is bent almost double under the weight of its snow burden, and I could swear that another tree hosts a menagerie of snow beasts -- a snow walrus rests in the topmost branches, and surely that's a polar bear underneath it.
Walking through the neighborhood is equally disconcerting. The sidewalks have become corridors, flanked by high walls of shoveled snow. When there is no sidewalk to be found, we stagger through the drifts or follow the lone tire tracks of some adventurous traveler. It is quiet and peaceful. There is a friendly camaraderie that emerges among those of us braving the weather. Upon seeing a group of children making an igloo, I'm pleased to pass on my experience of using water to create an icy shell on top of the snow. We greet those shoveling their walks and chat with those out for sledding or cross-country skiing.