Winter has long been my favorite season. I like the changes snow brings to a landscape: the crisp, invigorating air, the mystery of tracks in the snow, the silence before snowplows and sanders are out, the fragrance of wood fire smoke luring me indoors to warm up after a walk.
Last Saturday as the snow started, I set out down Music street to Alley’s. If a blizzard was coming, I needed cat food and milk. Near Johnny Athearn’s, I met Becky Sanders cheerily heading to Mermaid Farm with a loaf of fresh anadama bread Joe Keenan had just baked.
Becky and I talked for a moment, sharing our delight at the snow. I warned that it would be a long walk down the Middle Road and dark before she got back. That would be all right, she said. There would be no vehicle traffic. Only snow lovers like us, on foot, were likely to be out.
By Sunday morning, the snow had ended and the landscape sparkled under a cloudless sky. Nancy Cabot and the family dog Cassie passed by on Tiasquam Road on their way home through the woods. I joined them.
The temperature on Presidents Day was cold enough to freeze ponds. I went out early. As I walked along the Panhandle, the stone walls looked like lumbering white dragons. White fields stretched in the distance.
For six years, when my late husband Tom Cocroft and I lived in the West Tisbury Parsonage, our backyard led down to the Mill Pond. Accompanied by our calico cat, Tom would often go down to watch the black ducks, scoters and swans.
The pond has remained a favorite retreat of mine, too, so I went for a glimpse of it in the snow. The shallow parts near the road had turned to ice in shades of silver and platinum. Away from the road where the pond is deeper, it was blue as the winter sky. I thought what a pity it would be if the Mill Pond was gone, replaced by a swamp.
When town meeting comes this spring, I will be there to vote for the pond’s preservation.