It’s snowing out. It’s not the light powder that falls that is good for skiing in or falls as the first snowfall in November. It’s thick and heavy and coats the ground white in a matter of minutes after it begins. The salt encrusted sidewalks are covered again and the dirty brown snow built against the curb by cars turns white again. And as it builds it makes noise.
From my bedroom I can hear the traffic sloshing through the new snow in a staggered rhythm that follows lights by volume, but sloshes arrhythmically otherwise. It’s snow that comes with sound.
In some parts of Wisconsin it will fall without sound. Pastoral landscapes will grow whiter and trees that have melted will again have snow piling up on branches. In rural Wisconsin it will seem idillic as an already quiet landscape seems to grow quieter and the natural impulse to stay inside grows. It is the focus of too many poems, professional and amateur, because it lacks the life that comes with the other seasons that makes it seem peaceful and serene.
But in the city you can hear it when it snows.
You can hear the sound of people traveling through it in cars. You can hear the crunch of people walking on sidewalks behind you. You can hear city life continue to move. The sound of the city grows in volume as the sound of snow is added to it. When it snows in the city, everything becomes more lifelike.