You awake on the morning side of midnight. You rise, and as you walk through darkened rooms on your way to get a drink of water you pass a window, and within the framed moonlight you see snowflakes drifting slowly downward like tiny, white, dancing leaves or paladin angel spirits. Hastily you dress in warm clothes not forgetting to pull on the mittens your aunt made for you last Christmas, and the heavy and cumbersome scuffed boots which have accompanied you on so many other adventures. Like a scuba diver weighted with tanks your heavy coat and boots protest movement as you make your way to the front door. You are uncomfortably warm in the insulated coat and stocking hat you have pulled down over your ears. Your hand rests for a moment on the doorknob and then you swing the door open, and like Dorothy in Oz as the door opens you behold a new and magical world.
The night greets you with an assault of cold wind upon your face as you stand in the doorway. You move forward and hear the crunch of snow as it compacts beneath your feet with each step you take. The tiny, frozen white flakes sting slightly as they brush against your face. You notice that snowflakes are accumulating on the wool of your coat at the chest and shoulders. With each exhalation your breath is a small nimbus cloud that proceeds you - a genii beckoning you forward. To your amazement you find that you can no longer distinguish where the grasses end and the concrete road begins. All are equally buried in snow to the the same level. A sea of white extends beyond your vision. The automobiles are blanketed over with thick, downy, white comforters - their windshield eyes invisible as they sleep in the quiet of the night. You look upward and see snowflakes dancing near the bright glow of the streetlight in the wind, sometimes like furious bees, and at other times like graceful ballerinas. The smell of the air is frigid-crisp, and clean. The cold night, the air, the wind, the light is silent ... silent ... silent. All is a silence of a new kind and dimension. Baron, the neighbor's dog, has heard you and he barks once to ask who is there. He sounds so far away though he is right next door. The dense snow, absorbing all sound, mutes his voice as it mutes all sound. You wander to the fence and scratch his ears as his tail wags in approval. As you turn you see your footsteps recording your walk to the fence. But even as you watch they are filling again with snow. You crouch low and take a heaping mass of snow into your hands. It is light and malleable but it is "sticking". This is the best kind of snow. Unlike powder snow you know this kind will compact into form. Already you picture the snowman on your front yard in the morning when the kids have had their fun.
It is time to go back inside, but for a moment you savor your aloneness with the night ... and the visiting snow. A backward glance at Baron who is attempting to catch snowflakes with his teeth makes you smile. You hold back your head and stick your tongue out as you did when you were a child and let the cold, cold snowflakes drop upon your tongue. You retrace your steps to the front door and go inside not forgetting to kick your boots against the concrete step to knock off the snow. Once inside and shed of coats, and hats, and boots you stand in the darkness at the window once again and watch the snowflakes fall.
“I just got out of the hospital. I was in a speed reading accident. I hit a book mark and flew across the room.”
― Steven Wright