First snow. Dark silhouettes of people going to work, against the newness of the white earth and frosted trees; the bright orbs of light from the lamps in the park; the muffled, soft stillness.
An ambulance careens by in a blur of chartreuse. A runner, in neon tights; a woman pushing a baby carriage through the slush; determined bicyclists; walkers under umbrellas.
How fragile we are, with our firetrucks and snowplows and ambulances, arming ourselves against the unpredictable! How we clutch at a bit of warmth: the early-morning coffee cup, a cigarette, the loyal dog trotting at our side in its bare paws; how we distract ourselves with colors of lipsticks and scarves; the question of whether to put salt or sugar on our oatmeal! Meanwhile the giant poplars are singing themselves to sleep, the earth shrugging and settling beneath its white blanket, the planet hurtling through the universe. I gaze at myself and my fellow travelers with tenderness: so tiny, so myopic, so trusting, so unprepared.