Jill had been waiting in anticipation for this day. She hoped for it every year, but so often it never seemed to materialize. Things like work and grown-up responsibilities would get in the way. But this year it looked like it might happen. She had checked and rechecked the forecast. She worked longer than she had intended to make sure all those grown-up things that needed doing were done and prayed like she had when she was a schoolgirl, “Please let it snow tomorrow.”
This year looked like it would be extra special. This was to be the first snow of the season. Watching the weatherman predict four to six inches made her giddy with anticipation. She never quite figured out why adults were exempt from snow days. Of course, there were still days when the schools were closed, but why were adults expected to fight their way through sloshy, unplowed streets and risk icy roads for the sake of work? She checked the night sky once more before heading off to bed.
Something woke her. The clock by the bed read three a.m. She slid from under the covers to peer out the window. In the glow of the streetlight she could see a gentle fall of snow. She watched as it floated to the ground and disappeared on the sidewalk, leaving a tiny spot of moisture where it landed. Smiling, she shivered in the cold. She watched for a few more minutes before the cold sent her diving back into the warm bed to dream of snow.
It was much later when she woke again and raced to the window to see if it was still snowing. While the streets and the sidewalks were mostly wet, the grass was covered in fluffy white snow. Great chunks that looked that cotton balls were now tumbling from the lead gray sky. She checked her phone. “Snow for at least one hundred twenty minutes” she read.
The rest of the day turned out exactly as she had hoped. Breakfast was a big meal with plenty of hot coffee to sip, instead of the normal grab and run so you won’t be late kind. Later, reading in a chair by the window she surrendered to the urge to draw a happy face on the frosted pane. That afternoon she baked cookies and made up a mug of hot chocolate. Still the snow fell. Every time she checked her phone the message read, “Snow for at least one hundred twenty minutes”.
The day turned into night before the snow stopped. Seven and a half inches was being reported as she bundled into her winter coat, scarf and gloves to shovel the driveway. Outside the world was quiet, truly a silent night. Her shovel dug into the white confection covering the sidewalk she knew lay below. The scrape of the shovel bit into the night air, as she pushed it deeper into the snow. This was one of her favorite parts. Pushing the snow off to the edge of driveway, then digging in to fling a heaping load of snow into the grass, she smiled.
A crescent moon hung low on the horizon casting a surreal light on the heavy, wet snow that clung desperately to the bare tree branches. Unable to maintain its grip on the tree across the street, the snow fell like sifted flour to the street below. With the driveway cleared, she paused for a moment to admire the beauty that surrounded her. For the moment, she was alone in world, free of grown-up responsibilities, free to savor that one moment.
Keep on writing.
Jo Hawk The Writer