Tracks in the Snow

I spent much of this snowy day writing and as I became aware of the mounting snow outside, I found myself remembering a winter poem from my childhood.

“Tracks in the Snow” by Marchette Chute.

In my memory I’m in grade one, and it’s winter, and the poem is something we’re required to memorize. Unfortunately, that is where the memory ends for the rest of the poem eludes me and I am left with nothing but a title and the author’s name. Thus is the reality of our memories, for many of them are vague and distorted, filled with gaps that we sometimes fill in ourselves with whatever seems to make sense at the time. Forget the fact that we do not always remember things the way they happened, to us the memories feel very real.

So, unable to remember any of the words to the poem in question, I turned to the all-knowing Internet and spent some time searching for this beloved poem. Eventually, I had to admit that I was wasting valuable time chasing after a memory over half a century old.

I went back to juggling edits for the final interior of The Family Way and work on A Sure Cure for Witchcraft that needs to ready for the ARCs to be printed in April.

And as we finalize the edits for my next book, I can’t help thinking how grateful I am for this journey I’m on and how. for so many years, it felt as though I was chasing an impossible dream.

I look out at the snow hanging heavy on the trees outside my window and I quickly remind myself that dreams do come true.  I may never be able to track down this beloved poem from my childhood, and quite possibly the memory is not all what I remember it to be. But who knows, perhaps one day someone who has the words to Tracks in the Snow by Marchette Chute will stumble across this blog post and reach out to me, because dreams to come true and I refuse to give up even on snowy winter days in January.


How are you spending this wintry January Day?

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8 Comments

  1. Lovely post, Laura – and such a true observation about memories. I hope someone helps you find that poem. 🙂

    Here in northern BC, though it’s actually chilly today (though not very, just below zero), it’s been a surreally spring-like feeling winter. I hope that doesn’t mean we’re going to get snowed in in March! (It happens here, sometimes.)

    Happy editing and polishing to you! (I love the title A Sure Cure for Witchcraft, by the way.)

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    • Thanks, Ev. I would love to have the poem. One never knows.

      This is our first real snow of the winter. For the most part, it’s been fairly mild this winter. I mentioned just the other day to my husband that it wasn’t so many years ago that we raked leaves on January 18th but then the snow came and we ended up buried.

      I also love the title and my editor sent an early mock-up of the cover last week. I’m really excited about it and can hardly wait to do a reveal.

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  2. Hey, this won’t let me copy a JPEG, so I’ll email it. Probably not the entire poem, but the first bit… from your Google-obsessed friend.

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    • You Googled and found it? I’ve been looking and looking… Is it written by Marchette Chute. As I read what you sent it didn’t seem the least bit familiar which makes me wonder if I haven’t glorified it in my memory all these years. I love the way memories work–or don’t work as the case may be.

      Thanks SO much for tracking down “Tracks in the Snow!”

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  3. I agree: dreams do come true. Sometimes it’s not easy or quick, but if we keep working towards them, we often get there.

    It was a lovely snow day here, too. It started later than expected, but I went for a walk in the woods late this afternoon, hung out with the donkeys, then shovelled the step and walkway. With no wind, it was lovely to be outside.

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    • Did you see tracks in the snow while out on your walk? We have about 9 inches of snow at the moment. I think it is still snowing out so morning will tell the full story. It was snowing here before daylight.

      As for dreams coming true, we often make it sound too simplistic when we say that. We tend not to mention all the work and perseverance that goes into having our dreams realized.💜

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  4. Memories are funny, aren’t they? I looked up Marchette Chute and the only snowy poem was about skiing. I think the first poem I remember (other than nursery rhymes) was Trees by Edna St Vincent Millay. So I did a search and found that Trees was written by Joyce Kilmer. There you go it happens to all of us.

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    • Yes it does happen all the time. I now often say, “This is how I remember it” because I do realize how our memories become clouded over time. Even so, as murky as they might be, the can still evoke wonderful feeling for us. I suppose that’s what counts.

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