the first snow

I couldn’t sleep last night. The wind howled and the bones of my apartment creaked against the gusts that blew through town.

I lay in bed, waiting for my alarm to go off and I heard that old familiar sound of metal scraping pavement as my neighbor got out his shovel.

Snow. And probably ice.

As the sun rose, I pressed my face against the pane, fogging up the glass with my hot breath, looking out at the snow-capped chimneys,  just as I had done hundreds of times before. There I was, wearing  inside-out-backwards pajamas, ready for crunchy-snowman-snow, feeling the cold linoleum on my bare feet.

And then I was flying home to Cleveland after my first winter abroad, seeing the neighborhoods dusted with white, twinkling from above in the pressurized airplane cabin.

And then I was waking up to a blizzard in Luxembourg, discovering old rusty sleds in the basement, drinking hot coffee and pulling apart flaky croissants.

And then I was here, listening to the gas heater rattle around, eating thick slices of sourdough bread with homemade pumpkin butter, swaying to old, scratchy records.

“I am younger at the first snow. When I see it, suddenly, all little and white and moving, then I am in love again and very young and I believe in everything.” – Anne Sexton

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Fall

The beginning of Fall always feels the most romantic – the quiet chilly gently pushing you into the cozy rooms, to closed spaces. It’s as though Summer inspires outward, independent adventure while the chilly air reigns us back home.

I find with this weather I’m much more prone to lazy weekends and relaxing weekdays – staying in to cook, read, play my ukulele and of course, write.

Isn’t it funny how changing leaves make you think of love lost? Of tattered memories? Of moments you wish you could relive? It’s probably very obvious that fall inspires me to wax more poetic than usual, but I think that’s why I love this season. I’m a glutton for heart-ache.

And really, aren’t we all?

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I wrote this on the back of an airplane barf-bag almost exactly a year ago while I was flying back to Columbus from New Mexico.  I had just visited an old friend, in an old place, revisiting old cherished memories and, like most writers, my only way to process everything was to write. I stashed this paper away in an old notebook where it lived before I  found it this summer during the ceiling debacle. 

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I realized as the plane took, and the mountains disappeared into the distance, that I cry every time I leave. The tears slowly, silently streaming down my face in the pressurized cabin were no different than those on the train ten years earlier. No different that the tears that welled in my eyes in the rusty suburban as we drove away from the cabin.

That tighteningi n my chest is the same. Its painful pressure feels so sharp, as though I am leaving part of myself behind. I thought that I could leave, stay away for a bit, give myself time to acclimate to civilization. To feel freedom among the concrete and the noise. To get lost in the busy chaos. But it was more real; the black and white even further define. The reality is, like most of us, I am a conflicted dichotomy of personalities.

The first feels her adrenalin surge with city lights and strangers. She gets a thrill by sipping cocktails with different men, finding new haunts and memories in a constantly changing cityscape.

…and then there’s the other one. The one who craves the mountains. (Not craves, yearns.) Yearns so deeply for this place. For him. For bluegrass tunes on beautiful worn instruments while the moon silently looks on.