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

snow

There’s something about the snow this year. It hasn’t announced itself with fury or force, but rather quietly, as though on tip toe.

It’s been the kind of winter where you’ll wake up in the middle of the night to see the flurries dance around your empty street, whispering quietly to yourself  ‘snow.’

Sometimes it stays for a bit, becoming more forceful and angry. And sometimes it goes as quickly as it came.

But it always arrives the same. Quietly, unsuspecting, beautiful.

 

 

“I am younger each year at the first snow. When I see it, suddenly, in the air, all little and moving; then I am in love again and very young and I believe everything.” Anne Sexton, in a letter to W.D. Snodgrass (November 28, 1958)