Golden Snow

Snow is a rarity in my life.  There were the days my grandparents dragged me and my brother up the Everest-worthy slopes of my elementary school, only to soar back down in a quarter of the time; there were the snowball fights my brother and I would have with my parents, in which my parents would toss soft lobs and my brother would pelt ice balls the size of my head (perhaps an exaggeration); and every once in awhile I’ll still rummage around in the deep freezer in my garage, flicking through boxes of frozen pizza and packaged salmon in search for dumplings before my fingers freeze off, and I’ll come across the Ziploc bagged snowball my parents let me keep when I mimicked D.W. all those years ago.

Amongst this swirling of my wintry Pensieve, the one that comes to mind when I first consider snow is not so much a single memory, but more so of a collective feeling spread out over many occasions.

Back before my now-fourteen-year-old cousin was born and took over my aunt and uncle’s attention (and biggest bedroom), my brother I would often spend Friday nights sleeping over at their house.  We would stuff ourselves with Domino’s MeatZZa pizza and ice cream sundaes, ride our sugar high through twenty-five turns of Mario Party until eleven o’clock (!!!) when we became nothing more than mindless button mashers due to our impending food comas.  Our exhausted hands trailed our toothbrushes lazily through our mouths, then we would crawl into the queen-sized bed and slip off to sleep.

Sometimes I would wake up before everyone else.  In the winter months, I would occasionally beat even the sun.  My eyes would crack open and I’d be confused at the yellow tinge of the curtain slats over the window.  Then, with a tiny leap in my heart, I would realize what this golden glow meant, throw the heavy comforter off myself, and shuffle over to the window.  I would draw back a single fabric slat.

The single street lamp at our end of the cul-de-sac gleamed like the one in Narnia, shining off of a fresh drapery of snow that had arranged itself pristinely while we were all sleeping.  All was still, both inside the house and out on the street.  Everything was frozen in time, and I was the only one there to see it.  I would crouch, my fingers pressed against the glass, ignoring the cold spreading through the tips, and watch and listen to nothing at all.