The Suitcase Lady


November 12, 2013, 9:48 pm

It can only happen once in every year. I glance out the window and the first snowflakes of the season are lazily drifting in the chill autumn air. For me, this moment is the embodiment of the word poignant which comes from the French meaning “profoundly moving, keenly felt”.

The flakes look so innocent, ethereal and lovely. They delicately brush the ground and melt. In a few minutes none will be floating in the air. But I have lived in this place all my life and am not easily fooled. Those snow crystals have billions of friends waiting in the wings.

The import of the first snowflakes is immense. I can no longer hope for a few more rare days of Indian Summer. Even the hardy asters are doomed to freeze now and the last of the geese (or at least the smart ones) have deserted us.

Freezing ice, howling blizzards, treacherous roads, frozen fingers and weeks when the sun never makes an appearance all separate us from the next spring.

In Norse mythology hell (hel) is extremely cold. Hel is also the name of the Norse Goddess of the underworld who rules her frigid realm from her palace known as Damp with Sleet. I think she might have felt right at home during a Wisconsin winter.


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