I remember the smell of wet snow on a blinding morning. Squinting through glare and steam. Battleship twigs wobble in a frozen puddle. The neighbor's bell-bottoms dark blue to the knees. She sank in a soft mountain of snow, but extracted herself with the confident strength of the Bionic Woman.
The crows were flying silhouettes, Japanese ink on a rice paper landscape. The country was preparing for our spectacle. There would be battleships in the harbor, fireworks from the torch, old songs that would not die.
But on this day, in the insulation of a winter morning, we weren't thinking about history. We were playing giants, extensions of nature, voices of snowmen. Wet branches akimbo, signposts pointing to the warming spires of Manhattan and the exhaling chill of the Atlantic.
We squinted through the glare.