Anybody speak Inuit?
Remember that legend about the Inuit having dozens of different words for “snow”? Are there any Inuit people reading this? What do you call the ice crystals like fine-grained shredded coconut? Cocosnow? Or the slightly larger ones like grains of kosher salt? Koshosnow? Do we combine them and call it cocosnolt?
The cocosnolt fell on Monday morning. It was the day of a nationwide strike, and I can picture all those buses sitting untouched in the yard somewhere, sprinkled in cocosnolt. It lingered in the shadows and outside the pathways all week since the temperature never got above freezing. No thawing here.
The birds were not on strike, and the food we put out during the winter makes our balcony popular with the avian population.
Friday afternoon I finished classes early, and the snow was just enough to crowd the sidewalks with past footsteps.
The crystals are sticky, and outline everything, each twig on a naked tree, each spoke of a parked bicycle, and the cold figures of the War Memorial in our town.
I got home about 2:00, put on the kettle for a cup of tea, and turned to see the first flakes falling.
By rush hour several inches had fallen, burying the cocosnolt in legitimate powder, and the radio reported 1,200 kilometersof traffic jam. That’s about three times the width of Belgium.
But I take the train am in love with the world, so to me it’s all coming up roses, strung with newly improved spiderwebs.