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Let It Snow, Let It Snow

My thoughts race as I try to gather my things for the morning. The routine runs fast-pace on this particular day. I make sure that my shoes, my book bag, and my coat all lay piled in their claimed space by the back door. I hear a subtle “beep, beep, beep”—the coffee is ready for its morning consumption. I proceed to the cabinet that houses the coffee cups and take out the one that suits my mood. Today it is tall and beige with wrinkles resembling the edge of pie crust around the rim. The coffee container comes out of its resting place with a small “click” and I pour the rich, dark brown liquid into my cup. Next I blend sugar and milk into the coffee and it turns it a soothing caramel color. With my hands wrapped around the cup for warmth I pull it close and let the steam rise into the pores of my face. The house is stale from the heat of the fire, and the scent of wood burning is comforting. I go stand by the fire, trying to ignore the time; I want to postpone my departure from the warm embrace as much as possible.


On my dining room table lays stacks of papers that I must turn into my teachers today. It seemed the night before that I worked so hard on them, and still I remember work that is yet to be finished. A steady hum behind muffled voices lingers from the living room, listening closer; it is the morning news broadcasting the weather. Today, a high of 13 degrees with wind chills of -4 degrees—great. I walk over to my patio door and pull back the tan burlap-like curtain that blocks my view to the outside world. First, I see my reflection, coffee in hand. The bags beneath my eyes tell the story that I cannot articulate. It isn’t until I look beyond myself that I see it, breaking the opaque blackness. Gently, softly, quietly—it falls to the ground with only one mission. The flurry of the morning stops in its tracks, I try to catch my breath. Little, white crystals glide to the ground with the grace of a ballerina.


The simplistic beauty of the snow takes my attention; it blankets the Earth, ironically, trying to warm it. A sea of white snow stretches out beyond the horizon. It adds dimension, rising and dipping along each drift, to the flat Ohio landscape. I reach my hand over to the smooth, porcelain light switch and flip it upward. The light from my patio reflects off every cut of each crystal, making it sparkle. Very few patches of grass peek up from underneath the powder; those patches are the very last word that autumn has to get in before winter embraces the conversation.


The horizon takes on a robin’s egg tint as the sun begins to rise, the pristine white of the snow showcasing the color that the sun splashes onto the morning sky. For a moment, I am out in the snow, playing as if I were a child again. My ears and nose stinging as the frigid wonder comes in contact with my skin, yet, I dare not go back inside until my hands are stiff and I can no longer move them to create my companion, the snowman. I lay on top of the chilly, almost fluorescent white jewels and I close my eyes. It is quiet and I wish that life could have the same stillness.


However, I am not a child anymore. I center myself, back to where I stand at the window, looking out. The snow plays out before me, sinking to the Earth in an astonishingly theatrical manner. It is a tragedy, like Romeo and Juliet. Every year I know what it is coming: ice storms, car accidents, lack of sun, sadness, seclusion. I know that by February, I will despise every inch of snow that falls. Yet, every year I am wishing for the snow to come and cover the deadened grass with its beauty.


The beauty establishes itself purposefully for all the artists and photographers ready to capture it, entwining their own interpretations with Nature’s own. As I look out this particular dawn, I understand why I have always loved the snow. It provides the air with a crisp, fresh sense of awareness—it is the catalyst: accentuating the vastness of the sky, the brilliant scarlet red cardinals, and the outline of contorted, bare trees. And so, without much hesitation, I grab my light blue hat along with my plaid purple coat and head out the door.


The air feels just as I had imagined it—briskly, brilliantly, utterly freezing. I look up to the sky and watch as the snowflakes cascade down, clinging onto anything they can. I playfully stomp into the white powder and it compacts with a disdainful crunch. I release every breath carefully so that I can watch the vapor rise into the sky. The little snowflakes coincide with one another in peace, each going where the wind wishes them, without hesitation. I am amazed when they land on my warm skin and play magician, creating a puddle that stings for a brief moment.


I look to catch another on my fingertips, my tongue, my eyelashes—simply to feel that sensation again and again. The exquisite snow seems to whisper the melodies of Christmastime, and worries melt with each flake. I lean over and gather the snow in my gloved hands—immediately they go cold. Still, I roll it into a little ball and toss it against the side of my garage where it disperses woefully.

I stop laughing for a moment to listen. I hear nothing—no bustling, no shouts, no anxiety. The snowflakes seem content with their mission, to dust the trees and houses with pure white joy. Though each is individual, crafted so differently, they are accomplishing one goal in peace. Suddenly I am aware of the time spent frolicking in the snow, it is time for me to go back to my hectic life. I look around as if to say goodbye to the moment of peace, stillness, and quiet. It did something only superheroes can do—stopped time. I whisper “thank you” and trudge over to my car. With my hand on the door handle, ready to delve back into time, I softly sing, “What would it take for things to be quiet, quiet like the snow?”



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