The first snow of the season started coming down as I hurried to substitute for a colleague’s 8 am class this morning – Seamus Heaney-esque sleet-milt came in pats and splats against the umbrella, white rims thickening. By the time I left the building it had thickened to actual snow, soft and fast and intent on car hoods and bent, hurrying heads. Now it’s quieted and I can’t stop looking away from the papers in front of me to stare out my tower window at the white layered onto grass and trees by the wind. I know it’s thicker in the open places. I know it’s thinner in the woods, where the wind might not yet have touched, and where the grass underfoot still holds a little of its last-of-summer-into-fall yield and spring. I had forgotten the particular light of a gray snowy day, iron and austere and somehow bracing. Here it is again, the forward turn of the wheel.