Thursday, December 9, 2010

First Snow

“Goodnight. I love you.” She closes the door behind her. Feeling the rough surface of the wall, she makes her way past the bathroom and into her bedroom. It is slightly illuminated by light coming in through the partially open shades. Still clutching her books, she makes her way across the cluttered space to say goodnight to the world.

A ray of light bounces into her eyes. Surprised, she presses her face against the shade’s slats.

A shrill squeal of “Snow!” escapes as her books tumble to the floor.


She runs back across the room with no regard for the haphazard piles. Slipping slightly on the slick floors, she rounds the corner, rips opens the door, and shrieks, “Snow!”

Her dad’s head jerks up, startled by her sudden appearance. The girl grabs his arm and drags him to the nearest window. Ripping open the curtain, she points, proudly proclaiming, “Snow!”

“Oh, wow. You’re right, that’s a lot of snow.”

“I know! It’s the first actual snow! It’s actually covering the ground and sticking and everything!”

“Let’s go outside!”

The girl blinks, hesitating for a split second. She is surprised that her dad is volunteering to go out into the cold, after bedtime. 

However, she doesn’t leave him time to change his mind. Jamming her stocking feet into the closest pair of shoes, she reaches for a coat. “Hurry! Come on! Let’s go!”

Barely giving her dad time to grab a hat, she wrenches open the door.

She breathes in the cold air. Laughing, she trips out onto the driveway.


In awe, she looks up. Flakes fall steadily, buffeted gently by a wind.

“It’s snowing!” Her voice is raised, probably too loud, but she is too involved in the magic to care.

Her dad steps out as well. Their feet squeak slightly with each step. Their hair is already coated with a fine layer of white.

They continue forging a path out onto the deserted street. Her dad reaches down to scoop up a handful of white fluff. The ball hits the girl with a surprising amount of force.

A wide smile breaks out on her face.

She laughs.

An uninhibited, pure sound, as she reaches down for a snowball of her own.

She jumps at each one. Her grin is bigger than she thought possible, but she doesn’t notice. She is captivated by the white, transformed world. Her last handful of snow doesn’t become a ball, but is thrown up, only to rejoin the flakes on their steady path down. They pelt her upturned face, stinging her eyes, which are opened wide.

Her arms outstretched, she spins. Down the road. She looks around in amazement and awe.

She stops beneath a streetlamp. Its fluorescent light illuminates the path of each flake. From afar, it looks as though the sky is glowing.

She turns, grinning, to face her dad.

“It’s snowing!”

Her voice is filled with joy. Looking down the empty street, at the uninterrupted path of snow, at the silent houses.

She feels elated.

She feels alive.

She skips back to her dad. Grinning, she sees a peaceful look on his face.

They link arms. The girl glances around one more time, trying to absorb it all.

She sees a blind moving in a house, as a neighbor quickly withdraws their head.

Her dad says, “We’re being watched.”


She barely thinks about her flattened, snow covered hair, her pink pajamas, or her three unzipped coats.

She doesn’t care, filled as she is with the feeling of hope.

Walking back up the front steps, she sees the branches are no longer bare. They are covered with a layer of snow. It is an unfamiliar color, long forgotten from previous snowfalls.

Looking down, she leaps between the footprints she left only minutes before.

They stamp their feel underneath the porch’s protection. She gives the world one more glance. She fixes it in her mind. She fixes the feeling it has brought in her memory.


Gretchen said...

what a beautiful post. Your words draw the picture so clearly. I love it.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful. I have only seen snow a few times and reading this makes me wish I could experience a life with snow too.