Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Today I Am a Child

 It is not quite 6 AM. The first flecks of daylight are struggling to break through the darkness. I open the shade, my eyes trying to will the brightness forth. I peer out at the streetlight, looking for signs of what is imminent. 

Nothing yet, and I am as disappointed as I would have been six decades in my rear view mirror. A snowstorm is on its way.

It strikes me as strange that a person of Medicare age would still have a visceral response to the sight of white flakes tumbling randomly to earth. If I had asked my young self whether my enthusiasm for this occurrence would remain intact even now, I surely would have scoffed at the notion. You are far too jaded, old man, far too withered of spirit.

 I know it is near but not quite upon us. In detail, almost to the minute, I am informed by my twenty first century devices of  intensity, duration, the percentage possibility of what will and won't be. But yet, I still stand at the window, as if I can somehow compel the result I seek.

When I was in high school, I was assigned a writing task. The prompt I do not recall, but the tale I told was of capturing a snowflake in my hand, studying its size and shape for but a brief moment until it died and disappeared. I remember writing this piece while in the library, looking out upon a world of swirling, tumbling, frenetics. A half century later, it remains one of the few vivid memories of that period of my life. 

I even recall my teacher's reaction. How he spoke of the beauty in my soul. How pleased I was.

I have outraced the storm to this destination, driving in the dead of night. I peer intently at the street now, the light of day ever more intense. Still, the pavement is mockingly black, taunting me for my expectations. Time an enemy, moving far too slowly as it decides to make me wait until it is ready. I grow more impatient with each moment.

Today, children awaken to a snow day, with everything that these two words mean. Today I am a child.


Anonymous said...

Love that part about writing that essay in the library and your teacher’s reaction


Anonymous said...

And on snow day mornings I think of Joanne and our early morning decision making phone conversations. Now even though I can sleep in, my body and mind are ready to face the new challenges that the day brings. Snow still gets my adrenaline flowing. Memories have a strong hold on us.


Anonymous said...

You made me cry again. I loved what you said about the snowflake, I could feel it in my hand.


Anonymous said...

When I snuck out of bed at 5:30 this morning to peek out the window and saw just wet pavement, I, too, felt disappointment that perhaps the storm had tracked differently and there would be no snow for us. I also of Medicare age, then thought, what am I crazy? Thank you for suggesting an answer: no, just young at heart.

Harvey F Leeds said...


Anonymous said...

I so remember those same mornings as a child....Also, remember standing at my bedroom window upstairs every year (that we were in town and at home on Palmer Ave in Teaneck) on Xmas eve. I was an adult-child, jumping up and down and shrieking with excitement, calling Michael to watch with me as the fire engine with Santa Claus came down our street. I always opened the window and waved wildly at Santa and he (or she) waved back!

Thanks for evoking these sweet memories.