Wednesday, January 12, 2011

As it Falls

There was another snow storm. The college I was due to start teaching at today canceled class so instead of staying in to prepare my syllabus, I went for a walk.

Snow had accumulated quickly, filling the streets, making South Philly feel curiously abandoned--empty, but well-lit--like going into a supermarket at 3AM. The only people about where like me, oddballs that run toward every strangeness, every little thing that others avoid. I was outside precisely because no one was outside. I didn't want to miss it.

My neighborhood was so bright, though. I hadn't expected that. I was used to the quiet that comes with a snow storm. They don't call it a "blanket of snow" solely because the fresh accumulation looks so much like a fleece comforter, sparks of flakes looking like bits of fuzz. A silence descends, a delicious silence, a silence of anticipation, the silence shared with a lover in winter, huddled under a blanket, maybe before a fire, maybe before a movie, that restrained giddiness of just being close and alone and not needed anything more.

Or maybe that's just me. Weather like this makes me long for someone to hold, but that doesn't make it unique. Parks in summer, the right kind of concerts, even getting high make me feel that way. Some people just need to touch, to have simple physical contact to feel whole, to feel healthy.

My friends say I need a dog. I don't disagree with them.

On my walk, the snow was piled, fluffy and light over everything--fences, branches, even the cables running from telephone poles into houses. I know the wind will have its way, will knock that snow loose, help gravity and time tamp it down.

But at 2AM, when it was still fresh, the world seemed impossibly light, like every one of us, if we could be unburdened, could fall and shatter in the softest possible way, shatter and disperse and be reduced to innumerable flakes carried by the wind, weightless, delicate, and perfect.

1 comment:

Kelly B said...