Saturday, February 27, 2010

Magical Moment 23, "A Childlike Moment"

I woke up to nearly 2 feet of fresh, white snow on the ground and more still falling. It was still early and the snow plows, shovelers, and snow blowers still hadn’t bothered with our small side street, giving priority to main roads and parking lots. I bundled myself up with boots, coat, and hood to take my puppy, Joy, outside for her morning walk. I soon learned that I couldn’t walk far though. With the snow nearly up to my knees and not wanting to soak myself at 7 in the morning, I let Joy off her leash and watched as she enjoyed the deep snow.

She went nuts. Desperately wanting to run through the yard as if it were normal grass, she pushed and jumped with all her might but barely covered any ground at all. She buried her head under the snow and when she popped back out, she curiously stared at me with her big black eyes and ears straight up, face completely covered in snow. Soon she learned how to maneuver. She looked like a fish in a sea of snow, hopping in and out of the water and struggling as if she were moving up stream against the current. Once she hopped right into a snowdrift that was too deep and could not escape. I had to risk wet socks, feet, and pants to go in and rescue her. It was clear that Joy was having too much fun and we weren’t going inside anytime soon.

I noticed how even the thinnest limbs on each tree carried inches of perfectly contoured snow piles. Birds fluttered from branch to branch looking for a dry place to sit, but having little luck. Some branches under the weight of the snow hung low to the ground, nearly breaking off.

The snowflakes falling were the largest I’ve ever seen. So numerous, the air and sky looked completely white. The flakes were formed and clumped together so big, they looked like popcorn falling from the sky. And as they fell in slow motion, I looked up and watched them float down. My eye landed on one snowflake that was headed right towards me and in a moment of mindless instinct, I opened my mouth and stuck out my tongue, where it landed perfectly.

Just then, my childlike moment was interrupted by laughter. My neighbor had been watching from behind his screen door, holding a hot cup of coffee. I looked at him, startled and embarrassed but managed a sheepish grin. I soon collected Joy and headed back inside, my neighbor still laughing. Oh well, I thought. At least he got a kick out of it.