colby caldwellHOLLER

Alli Marshall - Day Four

colby caldwellHOLLER
 photo by Alli Marshall

photo by Alli Marshall

Snow Lion

The gym was closed this morning so I went for a walk, letting myself out into the snow-covered world. Fleeced-lined running tights over sweater tights, snowboarding hat, insulated mittens, down parka, Yaktrax over snow boots: One of my secret talents is dressing for a squall.

I grew up in the snowbelt and hated nearly every minute from October to April. The cabin fever (I actually lived, as a kid, in a log cabin), the endless gray days, the way the plows piled the grungy snow so not only were we walled in, but it was a filthy, icy, ugly enclosure.

But in Asheville, winter only comes in bursts, and each snowfall is a revelation. The neighborhoods are buffered by a soft white glisten. The constant hum of traffic falls away and the air is brittle and crisp and clean.

I walk through Montford — to the grove below Homewood, sometimes, where (if no one is looking) I eat palmfuls of snow, as one should in the domain of Holda and Cerridwen. I walk past people’s houses and admire the way the snow remakes their lawn furniture and fence posts and garden sculptures into surrealist installations. Ghostly, misshapen, comical. Buddha statues: Eyes serenely closed under precarious white caps.

And the lions at the gates of the sprawling Victorians, their snarls muffled. Like anyone out, early, in the new snow (and almost no one is) they can only gaze awestruck at the sparkle of
it.

The chilly miracle.

The snow-globe blizzard in which, just maybe, the pieces will fall in some wondrous way and we will all be put back right and whole and new.