The storm arrived for brunch. It started with tiny flakes that disappeared as soon as they touched the relative warmth of the ground and by noon the air was filled with big, sloppy clusters that splattered juicily like overripe winter fruit when they encountered any obstacle. Through the day the storm lingered and the city’s inhabitants gathered at windows to assess and fret over road conditions and traffic tie ups. By two o’clock the office had virtually shut down and when I found my way to the parking lot my car had been thoroughly encased in a frosting of snow and ice.
I’ve always had an affinity for snow. Maybe it comes from growing up at the tail end of an era when every winter meant at least one hefty snow would grace our city and that there’d be the off chance school would be canceled. As a grade school boy I benefited from the last true blizzard to hit Indiana. In 1978 I woke to find that all the world had been turned to winter. I remember watching from the picture window of our little suburban ranch house as a drift slowly built until it nearly reached the eaves. I’ve never outgrown the feeling that school might be cancelled due to inclement weather and it’s for that reason I’ll never want to move to some tropical paradise where temperatures never dare drop below fifty.
Snow turns the world silent – if only for a moment. It eliminates the world of deadlines, schedules, and expectations and slows everything down. From my window I see pines frosted with fresh snow and a landscape that rolls like a down blanket. It won’t last but while it does I feel a lovely sense of peace.