Over the last week, we’ve gotten about two feet of snow. And there’s more on the way.
It’s gotten me thinking about the sound (or lack thereof) of a heavy snowfall.
When you open your window, or step outside your door, there’s a special kind of silence. The few animals that haven’t migrated or gone into hibernation all take cover and don’t make sound.
It makes the air seem softer. Heavier, somehow.
Traffic dies down. If a car does happen to go by, you hear the quiet crunch of the snow packing under its tires instead of the usual rolling or splashing. It’s a similar sound similar to the muted crunch of your own footsteps if you’re on unshoveled ground.
Sounds are rare in the snow – even if it’s a bit windy. Whatever noises you do hear are dampened by the surrounding snowbanks.
Occassionally a clump of snow will drop off of branch and drop to the ground below. Even the thump of its landing is muffled by the time it reaches your ears.
It’s a peaceful silence, and uncharacteristic lack of sound that you can usually only find in the middle of the night, if you’re far enough away from the city. Even then – there’s usually something in the background. A cricket. A breeze. Something.
We’re almost always surrounded by sound, both indoors and out. When the snow begins to pile up, it all vanishes. It all fades away.
I love the snow – I always have, but the more time goes by, the more I realize one of my favorite things about it is the way it sounds.