Reaction to the first winter storm of the year, written in 2009.
|Upon waking, I lie snuggled under at least a hundred pounds of bedding. I don't mind the heaviness of the assorted layers of blankets; cotton, fleece, wool, and knitted afghans, as well as quilts, comforters, and flannel sheets, provide toasty warmth and protection from the chill air of my bedroom.
Moving slowly and gently, so I don't break the seal of blankets to skin, I roll onto my back. Then, turning just my head, I see a dim glow coming to me from the lone window. It seems a bit dark out to be morning. Slowly, I turn my head in the opposite direction to see the blue luminous screen of the clock on my night stand. It defiantly states it's eight o'clock in the morning. I rub my eyes and look again, 8:01 AM.
In accordance to the clock, my body is awake, ready to start a new day. But, my mind rebelliously longs to cling to the shelter and comfort of my bed. Even as I try to reason to myself that I have lots to accomplish and should get up, my ears detect a soft moaning coming from just outside my window. It takes a minute to register in my foggy brain that it's the groans of a cold north wind.
Rolling slowly onto my side I look back out, where I see it has brightened very little. It has lightened just enough to make out the outlines of dark gray clouds in a dismal, light gray sky.
Lowering my gaze, I see lilac bushes that once filled this room with candied fragrance, their leafy branches laden with clusters of purple-blue flowers. For weeks now, they've been bare of both leaf and bloom. As I look, they seem to claw and clamber at the grayness, as if they long to rip free of the frozen earth and escape the torment of the bitter wind. I can't see without sitting up, but I know the lush, green, carpet of grass below them is now dead, brown, and stiff. In my mind, I picture the multicolored leaves as they run, jump, and scatter before this freezing breath of winter. I feel a chill as these thoughts meander heavily across my conscience, and without thought I nestle deeper. Like a turtle, I retract my head until only my eyes peek out from my cozy refuge.
Once again, I tell myself I should get up and embrace the day. Drawing in a deep breath I brace myself for the shocking chill as my fingers slip out and grasp the edge of the pile of coverings. One - two - and just before I fling blankets aside, I notice tiny droplets forming on the window pane. I freeze less than a second before exposing myself to the chilly air and stare at the window. Haphazardly the miniature spots of moisture hit, one in the corner, another just below, a few near center.
Soon, however, they seem like an invasion of tiny flying saucers as the little specks transform into huge white flakes streaking across a gray sky, driven by the ever increasing gusts of wind. First, only a few impact with the glass, leaving moisture splatters in random patterns. As I continue watching, more and more icy disks fill the dreary sky, and more and more collide against the glass. Within minutes, I can no longer make out the dark ominous clouds that give birth to them. Lowering my gaze, I barely make out the barren lilac bushes that now tear frantically at the snow filled sky.
Also, the wind no longer moans. It's angry now, shrieking and howling as it drives the snow harder and faster. As the window rattles in it's frame I slowly release my grip on the blankets and pull my fingers into the warmth beneath. I watch in disdain while a sheet of slushy snow breaks free. It glides down the surface like a mutant arctic snail as more flakes stick to it's wet trail.
I try to see beyond the white icy flakes. Straining my eyes, I search for the lilac bushes, but they're gone; in fact, everything is gone. I can no longer see the world outside, only white streaks of wind driven snow racing through grayness. The wind shrieks and wails even louder as I turn my face away.
Rolling over and turning my back to the window I let out a thick, rich sigh. Again imitating a turtle pulling it's head into it's shell, I snuggle deeper into my pile of covers. Then, as my eyelids slide shut, I ponder this wonderful thought, "Maybe I should set my alarm for later, much, much later; then, when it goes off, I'll get up... next spring!"