|Snowy sunrise: catching that first glimpse of white from my window, years ago. Lainey Piland photo|
"Now, by 2 p.m., a regular snowstorm has commenced, fine flakes falling steadily, and rapidly whitening all the landscape. In half an hour the russet earth is painted white even to the horizon. Do we know of any other so silent and sudden a change?"There's snow in the forecast for western Washington this week! Although I dread driving in it, the thought of waking up to a snowy white landscape still gives me a little childish thrill. It recalls memories of waking up to snowfall on a winter morning and getting outside as quickly as possible, throwing snow pants and jacket on over my pajamas as I headed out to feed the horses their breakfast. Those first few steps outside always left me astonished at the depth of silence. The snow absorbs all sound - except, it seems - the sounds those icy flakes themselves make: scritching against your jacket, dropping from overloaded branches in great whuffs, groaning as it is compressed beneath your feet.
-Journal of Henry David Thoreau, November 28, 1858
Sitting at my desk a few days ago, the air vent overhead suddenly went silent as the furnace shut off. I was shocked at how quiet it was in the office, amazed at all of the small sounds that had been drowned out by the noise of blowing air. Instantly I was reminded of standing in the midst of a snowy forest. The snowflakes scrub all white noise from the air, distilling the world to shades of black and white, muting all but the sound of falling flakes and the murmur of your thoughts.
If you're longing to experience the silence of snow, escape to the wintry forest in the film below created by Nature 3D Taeuber:
Who knows... if this week's snowy forecast holds, we may be able to simply step out our front doors and experience the same peace and quiet found in the film above. Be safe out there!