I guess it was the fifteenth-century French poet Francois Villon who famously wrote "But Where are the Snows of Yesteryear?" (Où sont les neiges d'antan?) I actually remember it from Tennessee Williams' The Glass Menagerie. The Midwest has been so inundated with snow these last many weeks that I think of that question often. These really are the snows of my youth, except that in my youth--when all I had to do was play and build snowmen--I loved them more. Now I must drive through these snows, and they've lost some of their pearly luster.
But I have found out who does love snow--both today's and yesterday's: dogs. My beagle and the neighbor's beagle/lab both pranced through the snow all morning while I tried to shovel the heavy stuff. (Note to self: shoveling is way harder than you thought it was). They sniffed one another. Xavi, the lab, was polite and quiet, while my dog barked for no apparent reason.
Then, snow-covered, they bounded back and forth along the boundary fence, daring each other to race through the cold, white, high-piled stuff. This provided endless possibilities for snow fun.
A bit of a chat at the fence, just to double check that they were still the same canines underneath the powdery disguises. Simon is torn between resenting the neighbor's dog and wanting to play with him, so this causes some tension. But today, in the paradise of whiteness--an invitation to dogs everywhere--he couldn't resist a truce. It was time to play, play, play.
Perhaps when he is an old dog with arthritic limbs he'll remember this winter as the fond winter of his youth. I doubt that Simon thinks in French or, frankly, at all, but somehow this mammoth snow seems to speak to him and resurrect the puppy within.