First Day, First Snow


Back when I was in high school, our teachers would scold us for rushing to the narrow windows, get after us for squishing our noses against the glass and watching as the first flakes blew past the panes.

"But it's snowing!" one of my classmates would exclaim, mouth open and pointing to the outside sky.

"Yes," the teacher would say impatiently, "but you've all seen snow before. Get back in your seats."

We would groan and mumble, shuffle back to our cold seats and attempt to pay attention while our minds would turn to the west, to the window, to winter. The snow, simple flurries or fat flakes, it didn't matter, stole our attention and made us think of childhood. Of sleds. Of snowmen and forts and Christmas and crispness.

Get back in your seats? Please; how is that first snow not magical to you as well?

Iowa had already experienced snow before Thanksgiving, but yesterday, the first of December, was the first time I had seen it at home. I was at my computer typing, examining, networking. I absentmindedly glanced to my left, past the Christmas tree and picture window. Wait ... what is that? Is that ... it is! It's snowing!

I rushed to the window and peered through the blinds. The faint flakes were blowing in from the north, grazing trees and rooftops. Though the sidewalks melted them, the grass was frosted in their crystal glaze.


I quickly slipped on a pair of tennis shoes and bundled in a wrap sweater. My winter coat was on, buttoned, and my camera was slung over my shoulder while I shoved my hands into a pair of gloves. You're going to get cold, I said to my camera.

Out the door.

The cold bit my cheeks and whispered in my ears. The snow was so fine that its pings against dead leaves reminded me of late-night winter storms, when I would lay in bed and listen to the sting of sleet against the glass.

My fingers were stiffened almost immediately, and my eyes watered. Despite my trembling extremities and shivering core, I shuffled to the backyard and watched the snow blow around me, shuddering through the foxtails and into the field. It was so quiet, so peaceful. The low clouds muffled all but the snow, which floated around me. I watched flakes fall from the sky, hover for a moment in the wind before settling.


It was almost sad; each flake, each individual crystal, was so beautiful and delicate. Their beauty came from the air--from the magic swaying and shifting of the winds. First here, then there, they would fall. Fall and gather and collect and sparkle. I stood in the middle of the backyard, arms outstretched. Crystals stuck to the wool of my coat, and I frowned as they melted, frowned as they shattered themselves into water droplets.


The field, ever calm and changing, was misty and magical. I stared at it, watched as the snow covered the remnants of beans. Terraces were sprinkled with white, and fog stretched over the hill. The milkweed pods that had serviced so many butterflies this past summer had sprung open, spilling their life out and into the wintry air.

So different than yesterday, I said to myself. So different from when I was last here.




In October, the colors were captivating. And now, on the first of December, on the first day of a month so wonderful and welcoming and forgiving, there was snow. Beautiful, fragile, magical snow. And I laughed.

I laughed into the wind. Laughed at the field, laughed at the broken snowflakes on my coat and in my hair. Laughed because it didn't matter what my high school teachers said--it didn't matter if I had seen it before.

It's still natural, still beautiful, and still so utterly captivating that, no matter my age, I will always rush to the window and press my hand, press my nose, against the glass. Press my face against the glass and watch.

7 comments:

  1. Yay! First snow falls are always followed by slight excitement, although where I'm from, we get snow fairly early in November.

    Happy December!! <3

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  2. I have the same feeling lately. I am very fond of watching the snow falling behind my window glass. So different from what I felt when it was covering the grass and the trees the first time I saw it four years ago. I came from a tropical country, there is no snow and everybody is saying "I wish there will be snow".

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  3. I rarely get to experience snow but I could imagine it just reading your words. Great and descriptive.

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  4. Beautiful pics, the first snowfall is always so inexpicably magical :)
    -Georgia

    http://swonderfulgd.blogspot.com/

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  5. i've never experienced living in a place where it snows, but i can imagine that this is exactly how i would feel about the first snowfall :) must be so very peaceful and beautiful x

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  6. SNNNNOW! I'm pretty jealous. I'm still waiting for the day for the snow to stick. I love the gif.

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  7. beautiful pictures!

    http://forallthatjas.blogspot.com/

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