Sometime in the early afternoon it began to snow. Tiny flakes.... almost intermitment... not too promising, I thought. In the winter, my passion is snow. I want piles of the white stuff clogging up streets and pathways...big thick flakes clinging to everything.
But all the snow has fallen elsewhere...to my way of thinking, in far away lands. There have been record snowfalls with people lamenting that the snow has become unbearable. "Send it our way," I think, almost in the form of a prayer. I love the snow. I want the snow. But when it is cold enough to snow, we have no water in the sky, and when we have the water, it is not cold enough to snow. So we have rain...more rain than we can handle.
My passion for snow has caused me to search the internet for images of winter snow. My search has turned up thousands of images of winter and snow, many of them spectacular and breath-takingly beautiful. I have made them into the background of my computer screen and into countless screensavers. Some of the images are so vivid, I can actually smell the snow. I realize this is sensory memory kicking in as I see the snow on my screen.
But outside it had started to snow in the early afternoon. I had been working inside and when I glanced out the window, I saw that the snowflakes were larger and the falling snow had become so thick that it was difficult to see all the way up the street. The wind was starting to kick up a little and the flakes were swirling madly in whirlpools. Snow was covering the ground, the street, the trees, the cars, and people were struggling through what had become a winter storm.
At last! All the yearning of winter seemed absolved by this snow storm. I put on my coat and walked out into the snow-ridden landscape. I entered the park and the trees and statues were barely visible through the thick onslaught of snowflakes. Tree branches were bending under the weight of the snow, and statues were covered and disguised as snowposts.
Everyone seemed transformed by the beauty and relentless energy of the unfolding storm. The snow muffled all the sounds of the city. A kind of reverential awe seemed to hold us spellbound in the magic of the falling snow. The quietness seemed punctuated by silence, as though the storm had come to make us discover some miracle in the impending and ongoing silence.
I wandered for hours in the snow. As the evening approached, the snowfall grew even heavier. Snow was piling up to levels that could become unmanageable. I wandered into coffee houses, drinking coffee as I watched the scenes that had been images on my computer were now the lived experience of true winter. My breath, warmed by the coffee, created icy "smoke" trails as I returned to the storm outdoors. I wanted it to never stop. The storm I had wished for, now erupted in the full fury of winter, and I was happy beyond belief.
I went to sleep watching the storm shake the trees and the wind pile up thick snow drifts. I dreamed of a vivid winter, of being snowbound while a fire crackled in the fireplace and the world came to a standstill, absolutely mute in the splendor of snow falling forever, embracing the world in a white cloak of majesty. In the silence of the snow lay the mystery of being alive.
When I awoke, the snow was gone. Just as quickly as the snow had arrived, perhaps even more so, the temperature rose, and the rain swept everything away.
A dream, I thought, the delusion of watching too many snow scenes on my computer. Looking at the screen, I saw the winter images dissolving into each other in random celebration that in the end, I had to return to my fantasies of winter. Perhaps it all was just a dream, after all.