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The Winter's Spring

The winter comes; I walk alone,
I want no bird to sing;
To those who keep their hearts their own
The winter is the spring.
No flowers to please--no bees to hum--
The coming spring's already come.

I never want the Christmas rose
To come before its time;
The seasons, each as God bestows,
Are simple and sublime.
I love to see the snowstorm hing;
'Tis but the winter garb of spring.

I never want the grass to bloom:
The snowstorm's best in white.
I love to see the tempest come
And love its piercing light.
The dazzled eyes that love to cling
O'er snow-white meadows sees the spring.

I love the snow, the crumpling snow
That hangs on everything,
It covers everything below
Like white dove's brooding wing,
A landscape to the aching sight,
A vast expanse of dazzling light.

It is the foliage of the woods
That winters bring--the dress,
White Easter of the year in bud,
That makes the winter Spring.
The frost and snow his posies bring,
Nature's white spurts of the spring.

John Clare (1793-1864)


Winter has been pretty dismal so far with the local weather service reporting that New York City got 28.3 inches of snow this season as of January 31. But that sounds pretty good compared to Buffalo, which got 80.9 inches during the same time and Syracuse which clocked in at 68.6 inches. And of course snow has been falling ever since.

Nevertheless, snow has its positive side. There is that momentary beauty before the snow ploughs and shovelers get to work to bring its pristine white blanket back in conformity with the need to stay mobile. And for a brief moment fellow travelers along the way smile and nod as the mutual challenge of negotiating slippery sidewalks and mounds of snow provides a community of spirit.

And there are unexpected surprises. After a recent night-time blizzard we woke up in the morning to find our steps and front walkway beautifully shoveled. It must have been our neighbor since only his sidewalk had otherwise been touched. Not knowing his telephone number, we immediately deposited a thank- you letter into his mail box. The little touch of neighborliness will generate neighborly good will far into the future, thanks to snow.

During the blizzard of February 3 (8 inches), we sloshed through the neighborhood and up to Forest Park to record how Kew Gardens was behaving itself. Pretty well, we thought. Some nice guys with plenty of youthful power cheerfully shoveled our sidewalk and driveway for a modest $40, doing a good job. “Next snowfall,” we said, “come back.” They promised.

For the most part that afternoon, sidewalks were clear and in Forest Park a solitary figure in a yellow slicker was clearing the pathways making a safe route for this photographer. A fellow Parks Department worker on the way home flung out her arms in the still drifting snow posing for a picture, and said, “Isn’t this beautiful?” “Yes,” we agreed.

Enjoy the scenes of Kew Gardens in the snow.

Earlier Articles:
  •   A Walk on the Wild Side Just Minutes from Kew Gardens
  •   99th Annual Meeting of the Kew Gardens Civic Association
  •   Kew Gardens Loses a Landmark
  •   Counting Chickens on Beverly Road
  •   In Memory of 9/11
  •   Pictures at an Exhibition
  •   "Surviving" - A Haunting Documentary Examines Growing Up and Growing Old in Kew Gardens
  •   Through the Looking Glass:  Kew Gardens as Seen by a New Generation of Photographers
  •   Spirits come alive in "Spirits Alive" at Maple Grove Cemetery
  •   Killer storm hits Kew Gardens
  •   Jazz at Maple Grove Cemetery
  •   The Blizzard of 2009
  •   Filming in Kew Gardens
  •   The 95th Annual Meeting of the Kew Gardens Civic Association, Inc.
  •   Let It Snow - Scenes from Forest Park
  •   A Community Discovers Its Village Roots
  •   Spirits Alive! (2007) at Maple Grove Cemetery
  •   Day of Remembrance at Maple Grove Honors the Dead with a Celebration of Life
  •   Summer in the City
  •   Concerns Over P.S.99, Post Office, And Impact Of Potential Landmarking Draw Large Crowd To Town Hall Meeting
  •   Kew Gardens Community Day (2007)
  •   A Parking Lot Becomes a Flea Market
  •   A Touch of Soho on Austin Street
  •   Kew Gardens Merchants - The Bliss Café
  •   Kew Gardens Lights Up for the Holidays
  •   Queens Borough Hall Garage in Kew Gardens
  •   The House on 116th Street
  •   New Development in Kew Gardens
  •   Autumn Scenes in Kew Gardens
  •   Lantern Festival at Maple Grove Cemetery (2006)
  •   They Lift Up their Voices Every Friday