There’s snow falling outside. Well, actually, it’s stopped falling for the moment. But it was before and I stood in the kitchen and watched the white specks swirl past the window. Kitchen faces the brick wall of someone else’s world, but in between this home and that home, snow flakes fill the open air.
I drove to work. Drove carefully, carefully, but I’m worried about being late and I should have wiped the snow off the car windows before I left. I can see what I need to see, visibility’s not incredible right now, anyway. And there’s a thin heap of snow balanced on my window, and I’m only rolling fifteen miles an hour, surely nothing can go wrong. But you never know and I roll down the window, watching snow pack together in a heap, and the air is cold and flakes swing gently into the car, landing soft on my face, my hair. And the light is green and the window’s still rolling down and the tiny snow bank on the outside of the window collapses into the car, and I’m driving up the street with a pile of frozen white on my arm.
It kept snowing while I was at work, too, and the parking lot’s near empty by the time I come back out. There’s a snow scraper in the car and I’m careful to use it, but I almost forget to clear the snow off my window again, because I can hear Taylor Swift on the radio inside the car, and I’m thinking about Mexico again.
And the car wiggles on the way around the corner, but I’m driving so very slowly and it’s more fun than scary, really. I park in the garage, because I think that’s what the mother would have prescribed, but I don’t like going in the back door, so I walk around to the front. Walk straight up the middle of the alley, and it’s so still that I can hear the snow packing together under my boots. A soft, straining, settling sound. And the snow’s still falling gentle and wet on my head and coat and it’s settling on everything it can touch.
And before I shuffled the car into the garage, before I pulled around the corner to the street I’ve grown up on, there’s a stop sign on the corner, and snow is everywhere and snow can be so much. Because glance up, look around: snow is beautiful. Stunning, breathtaking wonder on every surface that it can get its sticky grip on. But there are other words with snow, too; like dangerous and wet and slippery and cold. And there’s an inches-thick white layer on everything in sight, but can you even tell what’s underneath? Because snow can be deceptive, tricky, disillusioned, too.
And God’s put beauty in this world, and He’s shattering this night with the silent wonder of snow falling, and a strange guilt starts to creep in, because I should be appreciating all this. And I am, actually. I really do love the snow, and I do breathe in tight when white-laden branches catch my eye; bright ice reflecting soft yellow street light glow. But I answered my mother’s phone because she was wrist-deep in dish water and the other end speaks Spanish and I forgot to not, and one time Hermana Tere asked me about snow.
And Mexico missing’s not always so close by, and the ache of longing softens with distraction. But Skype conversation at midnight says unless you do what you love, you will never be happy and there was more, too, but there’s snow outside and tightness in my heart because I know what I love and I know where I love, but snow isn’t just snow, and it will never be that easy, will it?