Tuesday, January 16, 2007

I never got cold wearing nothing in the snow

Can you believe this? In Seattle. In January.

At 9am, the streets were silent. Actually, silent is not the right word. They were devoid of everyday workweek sounds: rushing traffic, pulsing energy. Instead, side streets like this one became community centers, as if this modest snowstorm was our own little blackout, impelling our impersonal city to bundle up and come out to play, dressed in its brightest scarf and hat.

Everywhere I walked, throngs of children skidded past on anything slick enough to move: plastic sleds, snowboards, dinner trays. Parents formed casual phalanxes on the hilltops, using group strength to deter the occasional ambitious 4x4 driver who approached. Today, all of the streets in our neighborhood were for people. And even though you weren't here, I felt surrounded by friends.

We don't have snow like this in Seattle. Ideal snowball-snow. The satisfying, dull thock of compact powder as it strikes the alluring telephone pole, the electric stop sign. Perfect targets in a monochrome world.

Tonight, the rain returns, and great clumps of snow are plummeting from the roof as I write. The day itself was rather crap: job applications unanswered, evil British banks determined to dog me from abroad, creeping anxiety I didn't quite manage to ignore. But this morning? This morning was a gift to savor for every moment of my long, lingering walk up and down the slopes of our hill. Because for that deceptively brief stretch, I forgot that anything mattered at all.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Oh, I'm soo jealous. We don't get snow down here in CA. We barely even get rain. If I stay here too long, I fear I may shrivel up like a prune :)