First Snowfall

It was and it wasn’t. The first snow, that is.

There was some in December, of course, and a little more in January. But it came in dustings and icy, crusty, sleety blasts.

On Sunday the Island had its first real snowfall of the winter. The day dawned slate gray, as if nature had drained all color from the landscape. The air was still and flat.

In late morning a few tiny flakes began to fall.

By early afternoon snow was falling heavily and the Island was transformed into a Currier and Ives world: fresh, silent and white. Fluffy snow blanketed woodland paths and farm fields. Camp Ground cottages in Oak Bluffs were frosted like so many gingerbread houses. Cross-country skiers and sledders were out.

And the exuberant new puppy scampered into a field and buried her face in a snowdrift, coming up white and comical.

It was a coastal storm, confined to the Cape and Islands, and somehow that made it nicer, as if it was all ours to keep.

Then on Wednesday the rains came, and suddenly the first snowfall was just a memory.