The snow fell heavily–at times I looked out the window to a landscape that looked like it was draped in fog, but I knew it was just millions of snowflakes. If I looked closely, I would see the snowflakes falling from the sky, sometimes sideways in a gust of wind, but mostly in a hasty, fluttering vertical descent.
In a few hours, a foot of snow had fallen, by morning, several feet of snow softened the edges of anything sharp such that the world had a rounded feeling: the sharp pine needles now adorned with clumps of snow, the jagged Sierra granite rounded like river pebbles, the roads appearing lined with cotton.
My dogs hurried out into the snow, and then surprised by its sharp chill, rushed back in. And then they ran back out again, as if in disbelief that the thing that looked so soft and comfortable could be the same thing that gave them such a shock. This happened several times until they accepted the snow for all its paradoxes.
I love snow. When I visited my friend in Ann Arbor, I was happy that it wasn’t actually snowing–I knew if there were snowflakes falling from the sky, I’d totally be ignoring my friend, so mesmerized I would be by that event of nature. As it was, I revelled in the snow-lined streets and snow-topped roofs.
Alas, we had to drive back down from the mountains–we had a dinner in San Francisco with friends–leaving town was slow going. I was worried we would not make our dinner, but at the same time, I didn’t mind staying in the landscape amidst the snow for a few hours longer. At one point, the highway parked. People came out of their cars and took pictures of each other in the snow. I thought it strange that no cars were coming by on the opposing side of the highway.
“There must be an awful car accident up ahead,” we mused aloud. I took out a book, some oranges, and cookies from the boot–we would be there awhile, it seemed. When the highway began to move, we passed by a horrific car accident. A car hit a snow plow. The treachery of snow unveiled its head.
Someone was dying, or dead. We were silent–overwhelmed by this grim reality. I have discovered that a friend of mine is sick, that my neighbor fought breast cancer and lived, never mind my immediate experiences with being sick and with a family death. As my neighbor told me about her hell year of cancer discovery and recovery, I sensed a change in her–first of all, she was always super aloof, and now here she was talking to me and reaching out and sharing. What changes have I made?
It has dawned on me, through a meme here, and periodic thoughts that I haven’t changed my life much since last year. I ought to have come up with some sort of great lesson and life adjustments–but I have not. It’s as if all I wanted was a return to normalcy, even if at the cost of my psychic life.
In the last few months, I haven’t had much time to think or recollect–I haven’t carved out any good peaceful space. It’s also in the last few months that I’ve completely regained most of my cognitive abilities. I realize now that it wasn’t until October that I could really function at near 100% brain capacity. And since October, I haven’t raised my head much to ponder anything, or take inventory, or make plans. I’ve just…reacted. I’ve just…fought for a “normal” life.
But it’s not a normal life that I want.
I got back to the Bay Area, where it is now spring, where blossoms and not snow, fill out and round the arrow-like tree branches. It’s winter there, and spring here. Things are changing. Am I?