Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Mo chéad titim sneachta

Thiomaint mé abhaile ina diaidh chuairt a thabhairt ar mo chara i bPhríosúin Stad na Tehachapi ar feadh lá breithe air. Bhí turas níos fáide ag trasna an gaineamlacht ansiúd. Bhí mé ina aonar, le haghaidh aon uair amháin, ina fásach ard.

Áfach, bhí speirling ag teacht ann. Nuair bhí mé ag dul in aice leis sna sléibhte, chuaigh mé ina domhan dheannach órga agus báiteach ag timpeall gach áit. Smaoinaigh mé faoi cistin iomlán na cócaireachta brioscaí agus púdar ardú.

Bhí sé níos ciuin go léir timpeall, is amhlaigh ann. Tháinig mé in aice ag roinnt ceithre mhíle troigh ag imeall na Gleann na hOchrach síos an baile na Ghormainn im bPas na Vine Fhíonchaor. Bhionn sé ag sneachta ansin.

Chonaic mé mo chéad titim sneachta riamh an lá sin an tseachtaine seo caite. Feicinn sneachta ar barr an sliabhran Naomh Gabriel, ar ndóigh. Ach, bhíonn mé na beanna is ard agus is faide amháin dom.

Bhuel, bhí radharc na bán níos mo inné ó thuaidh de anseo. Chuir baisteach aréir. Chuala mé go mbíonn leibhéal an sneachta síos go dtí cúig chéad troigh ar roinnt cnoic. Bhreathnaigh mo chara é titim ar taobh siar na gCathair na hÁingeal, b'fhéidir, ar feadh an bhóthair Mhaolchallan ar trathnóna seo.

Siúlaim i sneachta ach trí uaireanta! Ar dtús, chuaigh mé ag campáil mar gasóg sa gheimreadh nuair bhí mé dhá bhliain déag d'aois ina sléibhte in aice láimhe. Ar aghaidh, tháinig mé tar ais síobadh sneachta ina Ollscoil Stad na hIndiana i rith comhdháil mheánaoiseach staidéir a labhair mé na scoil iarchéime. Ar deireadh Samhain deireanach, mé páirt i gcomhdháil ar purgóid i nDroim Conrach díreach mar a bhuail an stoirm oighear mór Baile Átha Cliath.

Gach uair a bhí mé fuar ann. Tá mé ag scríobh seo agaibh, agus i mo bhaile, ag ól tae, bim fuar fós! Níl teach agam go raibh te go leor, mar tá mé i gcónái i gCalifoirnea Thuaidh, gan amhras. Níl aimsir go fírinne chomh seo linn go minic, go cinnte.

My first snowfall.

I drove home after a visit to my friend in Tehachapi State Prison during his birthday. It was a very long journey across the sands beyond. I was alone, for the first time, in the high desert.

However, there was a thunderstorm coming. When I was going near the mountains, I entered into a world of pale golden dust all around the place. I thought of a kitchen full of cookies cooking and powder rising.  

It was quiet all around, moreover. At the level of four thousand feet, I came near the freeway around Hungry Valley below the town of Gorman in the Grapevine Pass. There, it was snowing.

I saw my first snow fall ever on that day last week. I am used to seeing snow on the top of the San Gabriel Mountains, of course. But, I used to see it at the highest and farthest peaks from me only.

Well, there was a view of white even more to the north here. It rained again last night. I heard there's a level of snow down perhaps to the five-hundred foot level around the hills. My friend watched it fall on the west side of the City of Angels, along Mulholland Drive this evening.

I have walked in snow only three times! First, I went camping as a scout in the winter when I was twelve years old in the mountains nearby. Next, I followed a blizzard to visit Indiana State University to speak at a medieval studies conference during graduate school. Lately, last November, I took part in a Purgatory conference in Drumcondra right as the great ice storm was to hit Dublin.

Every time I was cold. I'm writing this to you all, and in my house, drinking tea, I'm still cold! I don't have a house warm enough, as I'm living in Southern California, no doubt. There's not a true winter like this often for us, for sure.

(Scríobh mé seo 26ú Feabhra/I wrote this on February 26th. Grianghraf/Photo-- Tú ábalta feicéail a grianghrafaí go leor leis ag imeall bPas na Vine Fhíonchaor/You're able to look at lots of his photographs around Grapevine Pass:le/by Mr. Jumbo, 2009.

4 comments:

Vilges Suola said...

What on earth (?) is a Purgatory conference?

Bo said...

Funny! I liked that.

Fionnchú said...

VS, read on (and on, admittedly at marathon length. Eventually I get to Dublin and tell of said conference): Fur Coat, No Knickers

Fionnchú said...

Thanks, Bo, and I bet this is as odd to you as it'd be to read of a scirocco swooping down on your quad? Although with all those fragrances in your digs, you might welcome the atmosphere and the global-local warming...