After two days of steady snowfalls, the sun has come out.
This morning I was woken up by the chirping of brown, little birds playing on the snow-covered pergola in our courtyard.
There is beauty everywhere. There is beauty in spite of everything.
You only have to keep reminding it to yourself.
In spite of everything.
Agha Shahid Ali, a Kashmiri poet and one of my favourite writers, has written about snow – and snowmen.
Srinagar, like Kabul, is covered in snow today.
From Kashmir to Kabul, his voice resonates.
My ancestor, a manof Himalayan snow,came to Kashmir from Samarkand,carrying a bagof whale bones:heirlooms from sea funerals.His skeletoncarved from glaciers, his breatharctic,he froze women in his embrace.His wife thawed into stony water,her old age a clearevaporation.
This heirloom,his skeleton under my skin, passedfrom son to grandson,generations of snowmen on my back.They tap every year on my window,their voices hushed to ice.
No, they won’t let me out of winter,and I’ve promised myself,even if I’m the last snowman,that I’ll ride into springon their melting shoulders.