I could hear it almost before I woke, brushing lightly against the thin pane just above my bed, feathering the grass so gently that only in its abundance could it make a sound. I never had to look to know it, only feel the dampened quietness as it amassed and put a rounder edge on things.

The subtle breeze outside lifted it in plumes of crystal dust that betrayed the wind’s caprices before resting in uneven mounds along the foundations of the neighbors’ houses, forming elevated craters out of which the trees seemed to grow.

A wooden swing swung from a low and heavy branch of the ancient walnut in our yard, catching a perfect shelf of snow that hadn’t ever touched the ground, and from there I swept the first clouds of it into the clean and brittle air, breathing it, letting the freshness sting me before breaking the silence.

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