From November 2018:
Based on the smell in the air last night, I knew snow would sneak in while I slept.
An incoming storm smells damp and cold and shiny and assertive. Like silver.
But on a day like this, when it arrives and piles upon itself and becomes more than just a few flakes, it isn’t silver after all. It is an entity soon to become a memory, and will blend with all others to become a “Snow Day” already over before it has truly begun.
I hear the silence of it before I open my eyes. I hear no leaves dancing, I hear no dogs barking, I hear no cars commuting up the mountain road. I hear none of my neighbors stirring.
Then, out of the darkness of my head, the plow scrapes by. I taste the coffee still on the breath of the man pushing powder and ice out of the road. This wakes me. I open my eyes and push the blind aside to see that everything on the park seems dusted with pale blue. A watered down periwinkle.
The phone rings and I feel it in my chest as a robot-like voice says something about “inclement weather” and “school is closed.” A gratitude for extra time in my home makes my toes wiggle.
Fresh sun shares its light only with early risers and the slightness of it is surprising and joyful. Outside another window my daughter pauses while shoveling to scoop snow into her mouth. She wants to shovel and I don’t argue. I am hungry and guilty watching her work. How can I embody both at once?
I feel a chill as my teeth hurt. I process thoughts about how millions of frigid water droplets have formed to make a day for us to escape the real world. Snow tastes like all demands are cancelled. A pause button on the day.
But there will be a make-up day for this “Snow Day.” And it will be added on at the end of the school year after dandelions have pushed through green grass and gone to seed.
Sweat forms beneath a scarf I’m not wearing. It’s what I will feel in June long after the
scarf has been packed away in the attic.
Snow days sound like comfort: A tea kettle whistling, furnace kicking on, plow trucks
scraping by every hour on the hour. I swallow a pleasant gratitude for their efforts.
Between these I am wrapped in silence as deep as this storm itself.
It could be months before it melts. I scrape up every aspect and slip it into my soul’s pocket.
My toes love how a warm blanket tastes when it rests on my feet and my feet rests on the chair. I hear complete gratitude (it is the silence of snowflakes) and I crawl inside my writing.