Monday Morning Musings:
Another post based on lines taken from other works.
“It snowed and snowed, the whole world over,
Snow swept the world from end to end.
A candle burned on the table;
A candle burned.”
–Boris Pasternak, from “Winter Night,” Doctor Zhivago
“When the snow flies and the night falls
There’s a light in the window and a place called home
At the end of the storm.”
Judy Collins, “The Blizzard”*
The snow flies and the night falls
Reminding me of winters past,
Of other seas of white,
The time it snowed
When our girls were young
And school was closed for a week.
They played, and I baked
Cookies, and donuts, and bread.
We drank hot chocolate
Ate cinnamon toast
And read books.
It was cold outside, but
It was cozy and warm
A place called home.
The snow flies, and I can see Russia
In my mind. I think of Dr. Zhivago
Trudging, stumbling through the blizzard,
Blanketed in an icy layer of white
Finding Lara and warmth.
The stunning cinematography of the movie**
Who can forget
The movie images of the country house?
Surfaces a frosty filigree
A beautiful ice palace
And they are happy there
For a brief moment
When time and history freeze
Before the inevitable melting
And the resumption of life.
The death of winter becomes the birth of spring.
The snowy white landscape blooms with yellow and green.
The snow flies, and makes me ponder.
I think of my grandfather,
My mother’s father, born in Gomel, Russia,
He was traveling west as
Lara was settling into life with Pasha in Yuriatin
And Yuri became Doctor Zhivago,
Just before the war and revolution.
Not that my grandfather was in Moscow,
But he must have experienced the unrest,
Seen the gap between the Pashas and the Tonyas.
Did the snow fly during winter nights in Gomel?
Did my grandfather walk through drifts of snow?
I don’t know what his house was like
Or how it was heated.
Was there a big stove?
Did they have a samovar for tea?
Did it seem like it snowed
And snowed the whole world over
When he was a boy?
The snow flies, and I think of
When I was a child.
I wanted it to snow,
Longed to have more than a trace
In our Dallas yard.
Then we moved back to Pennsylvania,
And there was snow.
I listened to the radio for school closings,
And went sledding with my boyfriend.
The guys did crazy stunts,
I watched and laughed.
And I married that boy.
The snow flies, reminding me of passing hours.
I know nothing of my grandfather’s childhood.
Nothing of his hopes and dreams.
And I cannot ask him now.
Did he play in the snow?
He came to Philadelphia
A young man
Just before the assassination of the Archduke.
Fleeing his homeland only to serve
In the navy of his adopted country
During the time of war and flu,
An epidemic that killed more people
Than did guns or earlier plagues.
He married a daughter, one of seven,
Of another man from Gomel, a butcher.
Would he think it funny that some of
His descendants do not eat meat?
A choice made possible
By his immigration to this country
Of variety and possibilities.
My grandfather worked hard.
I don’t imagine he spent much time
Watching the snow fall.
But after he retired, he learned to dance
He walked and swam.
He played with his grandchildren
Whenever he visited from his home
In Miami Beach.
His winter years spent not in winter cold,
But in sun and warmth.
A place of tropical colors,
Of sandy beaches, not snowy fields.
My grandfather as a young man. The photo is undated, but taken in Philadelphia.
The snow flies and the wind howls.
I’ve cooked and I’ve baked enough
To chase away the chill.
Banished briefly, though not forever.
There’s soup, and bread, and pie.
And we will eat and enjoy.
We’ll sit with blankets and cats
And binge-watch TV.
Tomorrow we may venture out
To see the winter landscape.
But for now
We watch as
The snow flies, and the night falls.
Inside there’s contentment and light,
Color that contrasts with winter’s
Black and white.
A candle burns on a table.
And I am home and warm
At the end of the storm.
If it’s snowing, then I’m probably cooking. This is what I made during out weekend blizzard. (After the pre-blizzard cooking.) 🙂
Honoring my Eastern European-Jewish roots with Vegetarian Borscht
and Black Bread (Smitten Kitchen)
And my American birthplace with Pumpkin Pie
*Judy Collins, “The Blizzard”
**Earlier in the month, I had fun discussing the movie, Doctor Zhivago with Scott Parker-Anderson. See his post on the movie here.