A few fragile flakes broke the anticipation in the air. All of a sudden, our semester’s first snow came fluttering down from the sky! Although we got only an inch or two of light snow, everything changed. Many students experienced their first real snow right here at Maine Coast Semester, and not just a dusting, but a tangible, cold, liberating snow.
With the snow came a few new additions to Chewonki life. Along with the everyday excitement that has almost become a norm (who would have thought that excitement would be an everyday emotion?!), a new excitement sprang from the students who had never experienced snow before. Immediately after dinner one snowy night, every semester student sprinted to the quad to teach Finley, the 4-year old daughter of one of our faculty members, how to make snow angels.
Our reliance on our wood stoves has also immensely increased with the cold weather. Admittedly, my cabin mates and I were not particularly skilled in the art of upholding a comfortable temperature throughout the day and night in the cabin; however, once the snow gently coated the ground, we began heating our cabin like a well-oiled machine. We learned how to seamlessly craft a catchable yet sustainable fire to keep our cabin warm throughout the day, and at night, we mastered the positioning of the flue in order to regulate the speed of the burning logs (our very own Chewonki logs harvested by the previous semester!).
The snow has also acted as a light at night as the sun sets earlier each day. The moon and stars reflect off the bright snow, perfect for evening snowball fights and evening saunters. A jacket of ice on each branch replaces a typical disco ball with one made of icicles. Henry David Thoreau himself would expect nothing less from such a picturesque yet wild scene.
Experiencing the transition from summer to fall to the beginning signs of winter reminds me of how grateful I am to spend time here, getting to know an amazing group of individuals in an amazing place.
Emma Wright, Milton Academy, Melrose, MA