Monday, December 06, 2010

Something as simple as a snowflake

Last night at about 1:00 in the morning P and I were out on the deck having a smoke. I've mentioned before the dead silence that surrounds us when there's snow on the ground. It's deafening at times, kind of like last night when both of our ears seemed to be ringing.

As we stood there somewhat silent here and there, listening to an owl 'who-whooing' there was also a very gentle snowfall kissing our cheeks. We stood there, kind of cold, discussing how much it looked like a snow globe. Not huge flakes but bigger...there wasn't any wind so they just kind of fell. I held my face up, stuck out my tongue and tried to catch some flakes--getting some in my eye and down my neck. I gave up and looked over and there was P looking up as well. He wasn't trying to catch them but his eyes were closed. I just smiled.

As we stood there I mentioned a night him and I were at the bar. It started to snow and we started whining about the weather as is pretty normal for us Minnesotans. More snow! UGH. But as we were looking out the window the flakes began to grow bigger...we decided on the spot we were going to leave the bar and come home and get our kids out of bed and take them out in woods to take in the enormous flakes that were falling from the sky. It was midnight or maybe even 1:00 in the morning but we didn't care. Spontaneity took over and I have to say I'm so glad it did.

That night has gone into the memory banks of all our kids and P and I. It was the most beautiful night in winter history for us. Mild weather with flakes as big as a can of pop is round. Our kids thought we were nuts getting them out of bed to get all dressed up to go trudging through the woods in the middle of the night. But since that night not a year has gone by that one of them hasn't mentioned it.

Last night reminds us of the fact that it's those simple things that matter, it's those brief moments or glimpses that weave their way into our hearts and memories. Last night I wondered out loud how many people were standing outside at that very moment taking in the life that goes on around them. We both started laughing because after all, it was 1:00 in the morning on a Sunday night...and it was at that point that we decided probably not many. I looked at Pat and said, 'this is just a reminder of the little things that make life so much easier to bear.'

While smoking sucks, there have been many, many times we have seen things we may not have otherwise seen if we hadn't smoked or done so in the confines of our home. Hundreds of nights looking up at the stars in the sky with P pointing out different constellations to me, sites of squirrels jumping all over the place knocking snow off the limbs of trees, freaking out at the crackling of branches wondering what that was, hearing the god-awful screaming of coyotes or the low angry growl of raccoons as they make their way to our other deck, cats fighting, the dam rushing in the distance but it sounds like its only a couple hundred yards away, or other mystery critters screaming in the woods.

As we stood out there tonight for another heater Pat looked out over the driveway and carried on the tradition of making special moments discussing with me how very perfect he was able to drive into the drive so as to knock out a tires width of snow on the edge which of course widened our driveway just that much more. But not before he pointed out how the snow falling tonight was like walking into last nights.....

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