It snowed on Sunday, the sky turning bright grey and the thick, white flakes blanketing the grass and the roads icing up just enough to make me drive a little slower.
And I was unhappy.
I’m not really one for changes in the weather — it messes with my allergies and throws my emotional balance just a little bit out of whack. Plus when it snows, there’s the frigid cold and the icy roads and the fact that I spent 16 or so years of my life in Houston, and thus I often let off a frustrated sigh when I look outside my window and see that I’ll have to break out the ice scraper.
After braving the chill just enough to make it to church, pick up lunch and head home, I settled in for the afternoon, pulling a blanket over myself and trying to eat enough warm food to keep out the chill and the mild, weather-induced emotional funk blanketing me like the snow on the grass outside.
Later in the evening, I forced myself off the couch to pick up a bag of chips. I’ve been struggling with a lot of fear as of late (or perhaps I’ve only been admitting to myself as of late that I’m struggling with a lot of fear), and since the people I’d usually talk to about it are hours and hours away, my default coping mechanism has been steadily sliding back toward food. (Also I was trying to finish up “Lost” and needed something to get me through the emotional turmoil of watching that TV show.)
As I stepped outside my apartment, the cool air hit my face. The cold was gentle, unlike the chill earlier in the day that soaked through my gloves. The snow had long since stopped falling, and the sun had gone down, dulling the landscape to the soft white reflecting off the ground from the streetlights.
I’ve been attempting to fight off a restless discontent recently, a quiet heaviness that continues to come and go despite my efforts. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but it’s been making me think too much and fear too much and feel too much.
But for just a moment, something about the cold and the soft white hues playing in the dim light made me stop, smile. I tromped across the grass to my car, watching behind me for the trail of footprints in the powder and letting just a bit of childlike wonder wash over me.
I thought about the time a friend got stuck at my house after a snowstorm, and we went out late at night to scoop up armfuls of powder to make into ice cream. I thought about the time the street outside my house was deluged with snow, and my neighbors and I spent 20 minutes trying to push a car down toward the main road. I thought about the time I trudged across campus through the slush to sit in my teacher’s office and talk about life and remember that all would somehow be well.
I’m not all that great at transitions, changes in the weather being just one of the things that throws me off balance from time to time. I hate it when the snow comes down and the storm rolls in and I’m left stuck in one place while the elements thrash around me. It’s uncertain, unstable.
But when the snow stops and the air quiets, I find I can see and hear just a little bit more clearly, perhaps even more so than I could before the storm. It’s just a matter of learning to remember during the snowfall that I can keep looking forward to what comes later.