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The first snow in the city this year, not sticking to the NY streets, dancing in the air as a teasing reminder. Back home where it is grey for some time, dead leaves raked up or blown across the street, the ground is dry, brown and frozen. I wish I was there, for this and the whispering of first snow.

Have you heard it, ever? It makes a crisp rustling sound, so faint it could almost be the air currents moving near your ear. And everything is at once magnified and diminished, the cold, the clear, the bright. Especially at night.

It could be the way it hits the frozen grass, dusty green blades, brittle and huddled. It could be the way it hits the dry earth, frozen and hard. Or maybe the naked branches, brown and reaching, papery thin.

After that first whispering, when it's piled up - it almost crackles. Flake by flake, you can hear it stick and join and blend into marvelous crystal structures. At once muffling and clarifying every sound, clear and loud, quiet in the whiteness.

It turns from dry rustling to shush-shush-shush, the weight of a long cozy night, the warmth of exertion from shoveling the walk, the peace of a book and chocolate milk and blanket. It turns from the first snow into a promise of winter, muffled and falling and melting.

I sit here in my cubicle, watching the flakes, dreaming of elsewhere, childhood and snow angels and fireplaces and all sorts of things I didn't necessarily have, but I can hear them, nonetheless, in the whispers outside.

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