The snow swirls and curls outside the window, I cock my head and watch it gracefully move in the late afternoon sun. Its presence is soft, muted, and gentle as it winnows through the straight streets and tall buildings of New York’s Upper East Side. By tomorrow morning, the city will be covered in a deep snow.
Being from the Snow Belt of Northeastern Ohio, snow is a winter inevitability—its manifestation involving salted roads and large expanses of forest and farmland, covered in a cold sea of solid white. But this is my first urban snowstorm. The first time I’ll seen snow embrace the busy, lived-in world of a big city.
I look away from the window and back to the laptop that sits on my lap. On a small side table to my left, is a hot cup of tea, Joseph Campbell’s The Power of Myth, and a glass of sweet Ohio red wine. I always bring back a few bottles of sweet Ohio red wine when I visit my family in the Midwest. I’ve yet to find a red wine that matches its tasty contradictions: light-bodied but rich, delicately sweet but sensuously grounded. But at this moment, I enjoy not for its contradictions, but for the sense of consistency its ruby presence gives me. Though buildings rather than trees tower outside my window, my snow rituals haven’t changed that much. In Northeastern Ohio, I too would weather out a snowy afternoon with a cup of tea, a good book, an interesting writing project, and a glass of sweet Ohio red wine.
Inspired, I hold my glass up to the window and absently swirl around its contents. The wine seems to be dancing with the snow. What a mismatched couple they seem to make: Red and white, liquid and solid, town and country, all moving before my eyes. But are they really so poorly matched? For even in contradiction there is consistency. Won’t this snow melt, evaporate, and rain down upon the vineyards of the Hudson Valley, or even those of Northeastern Ohio, depending on the weather patterns? Won’t future clusters of grapes benefit from this snow’s liquid nurturance, and swell full of flavor and life? And won’t a Midwestern girl enjoy an afternoon of snow, even if her landscape is tall, squared buildings rather than expansive, rolling farmland?
The answer is yes, for even in contradiction there is consistency.