Post written by Laura Vasilion
Wearing no coat, no hat, a young girl passed by my house the other day. I watched her walk down the sidewalk, trailed by her little black dog. Overhead, an April snow drifted down upon them. It clung to the girl's long brown hair. Dusted the small dog's dark fur. They did not rush. Slow and measured, the girl and the dog appeared to be walking with the snow, rather than through it. Letting the weather dictate their pace.
I had different objectives that day. A plan, to write, shop, and workout, in that order. But when I got to the cafe to write, a construction crew started to jackhammer the concrete pavement just outside the cafe. So I closed my laptop and headed to the grocery store. Got most of the items on my list. At the checkout, the clerk and I made small talk. Weather talk.
"They say it might snow," I said.
"I hope they're wrong," she replied.
I nodded. "I know. It's spring, after all."
"Wouldn't be the first time they got the weather wrong, you know."
But the snow did come, soon after I got home. A lovely, soft, whisper of a snow. A snow that shook itself loose all over my neighborhood. Its white flakes filtered through my trees. Rested on my lawn. Tapped at my windows.
I never got to the gym. Instead, I picked up my dog and put her on the bed. Side by side we lay there, watching the snow fall. Then I heard the ping of a message on my computer. Checking it, I saw the notice from a friend about an Icelandic festival coming to Chicago this weekend. I am hopelessly in love with anything Icelandic so I went to the event's Web site. Clicked on a link that took me to the music video below. A cover of the song, Out of Yourself. As the haunting voices of the women began, I knew that was exactly what I was experiencing; a feeling of being outside of myself.
When I was a little girl, I used to have that feeling a lot. One day in particular, stands out. I was coming home from school for lunch. It was snowing and I had slowed to enjoy it. Eyes closed, I walked with my face pointed upward, catching snowflakes on my tongue. Until I heard someone shouting my name. Opening my eyes, I saw my mother standing at the end of the sidewalk, hands on her hips.
"Laura, you're dawdling. Come on, get your head out of the clouds," she said.
But that's exactly what writers do. Need to do. We dawdle and ponder and dream.
An hour after it began, the snow stopped. All evidence of it is gone now. But like the girl with the small dog, I'm glad I took the time to stop and acknowledge its brief appearance. I will not remember which days this year I skipped my afternoon workout, or started dinner late. But I will never forget the day I paused to watch snow fall on a spring day in April.
More than likely, this is the last snowfall I will see this spring. But there is so much more to come, like the first thunderstorm of the season. Steam rising off hot summer pavement after a rain. The squeal of children playing on lazy nights, fireflies filling the air. The sight of industrious birds building new residences. The slap of fish spawning in the river.
Plenty of time, plenty of ways, to go outside myself.