Friday, December 01, 2006

The moment things happen

I am a little bit OCD. I like everything just so... snow without tracks, the silence of it falling, the quiet. It's like some sort of beginning. And I love the moment that things happen, the exact moment that they change. So often in life, we just see what has happened, too late. I like marking these things. It's why I love the very beginning of fall, those first leaves turning color, the first ones to fall. When I was a kid, I always noticed when things happened. I paid better attention, or had more time, or perhaps less patience. As an adult, I often miss it.

The first flurries fell today while I was on the Northside teaching. Like a child, I ran to the window and opened it, wanting to stick my head out, catching them on my tongue. But I was high up in a building, and instead settled on writing a quick haiku, then was vastly dissappointed when my next class got canceled and I couldn't watch the snow with the kids.

The rest of the day became an ice storm, a fairly violent one of sorts, leaving stoplights out and people without power. Then there was the rain. I listened to people tell me of coming and going, but then after work, as I was just about to leave, the snow started, big wet flakes-- those kinds of snowfall you only get in early winter or late spring, thick with possibility, and somehow thick with a certain sadness. Before I knew it, I was skipping to the window, coat on, ready to head out, so excited, but needing to mark the moment, to say to someone, this is the first snowfall this winter.

So I did, and then I drove home, not passing or seeing another car. All the tree limbs down on Arsenal, snapped like old white ghosts with the weight of the ice from earlier. I slid into my parking space, my car more sled than wheels, and then noticed a big tree down across my front lawn, covering my steps. But as I stepped out of my car, it was so quiet, only the faint sound of snow falling-- and it is always only the wet snow you can hear, like quiet sleigh bells. Yes, I'm romanticizing it, but it was a beginning moment, and sometimes, I need those. Sometimes I just need to say, I know when it started, and then I can literally, let the rest fall where it may.

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