Madison Monday: It Is Snowing

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Yes, it is. All day. Without ceasing so far and it’s 4:00 in the afternoon already. Sitting here in my office, it’s easy to believe that it might go on snowing forever.

I am not as upset about this as I thought I might be. The snow didn’t interfere with my plans this morning; I was able to get to campus and to pick up a babysitter for my step-daughter, who is on her second week of what I will no longer refer to as “spring break.” It will now be referred to instead as the “most-completely-demoralizing-time-of-the-year break.”

IMG_0634I am trying not to dwell on the daffodils in my backyard that have bloomed, but are now bowing their heads in the face of the cold, as if ashamed of the bad manners Spring is showing us this year. I will not think about the tree in front of the church next door; the blossoms that had begun to open last week are now brown and dead from the cold.

Instead, I am watching the snow from my large, third story window. It feels, up here, like a more intimate view of the weather. I am privy to the secret dance of the snowflakes as they blow past.

From far away, it looks as if they all follow the same direction. But up here, I can see them sometimes stop. They hesitate in mid-air, and bounce around, as if they are taking a quick peek inside. Sometimes they all change direction at once, and are blown backwards.

In some moments, each individual flake emerges, floating in its own trajectory past the window. They are following their own unique path, moving in whichever direction they choose. Some drift up and some drift down, and who can predict the why or when? Then they become a senseless blur of indistinguishable movement, white streaks across the window panes, moving past.

They are like tiny schools of fish from where I sit, and it is sometimes hard to believe that they are headed for the ground at all. Perhaps they will just spend their whole lives dancing in the air.

The daffodils and the tree blossoms are not their fault, I remind myself. They are snowflakes, and they go where they’re told. Still, I hope today is the last day I will sit in my office watching them for a long while.

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