New York City, March 21, 2016


★★★★ The snow had been light but enterprising. It stuck to the sides of the balcony rails more thickly, if anything, than to the balconies themselves. It had failed to whiten the pavement but it traced the delicately tapering lines of the tree branches all the way out to the thinnest new twigs. The clouds grew pearly and began to separate. Puffy little lumps of snow fell off the top of the scaffolding and looped around to land underneath it. The sky went from half-blue to two-thirds on the walk to the pre-K dropoff, and surpassed three-quarters on walk back. The early afternoon was not just clear but intensely so. Every bit of snow was gone, but so was the milder dampness that had come with it. The wind was dry and getting ever colder. It lifted a plastic bag high off the sidewalk and wrapped it around a branch of a tree. The bag jumped loose and clung to an even higher branch. The four-year-old asked if he might be allowed to throw bags out the apartment window to watch them fly.