We were walking in the winter woods with the tracker Sue Morse. Our eyes were fixed on the ground as we searched for more of the bobcat prints we had just traced around the base of a cliff. When Sue called to us, we figured she must have picked up the trail. But instead, when our small group had gathered around her, she pulled back the bough of an overhanging hemlock and released it over our heads like a plucked bowstring. We looked up, startled, as the snow that had been packed on the branch swirled around our warm cheeks and spangled against the sky. As we stood there, transfixed, she recited Robert Frost’s short poem “Dust of Snow”:

The way a crow

Shook down on me
The dust of snow

Antique Japanese Woodblock Print Courtesy of Ukiyoe Gallery, www.ukyoe-gallery.com
Antique Japanese Woodblock Print Courtesy of Ukiyoe Gallery, www.ukyoe-gallery.com


From a hemlock tree

Has given my heart
A change of mood
And saved some part
Of a day I had rued.

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