Monday, November 21, 2005

November Snow

I put on the hat Martina knitted for me, my leather gloves, my blue scarf, and wrapped by shin length coat around myself before heading outside. It was the coldest day since last winter.

I walked down the hill, enjoying the little snow that was beginning to fall from the sky. It was a chilly, but very crisp night. I reached the bottom of the hill and made my way to Conley Street. I could muffled sounds of a few parties going on in the houses by the railroad tracks. The streets were unusually bare, as there were few people outdoors on account of the cold.

I had been invited to a newspaper party, which was for all the people who had contributed to the Entertainment section. Since I had written a few articles, I was also invited.

I walked up Conley Street, and I noticed that the snow was thickening. I found 14-A Conley and was about to walk up the laneway when Woosh!

Something hit me. It felt as if my feet were being tickled and that my contact lenses had fallen out. Everything was blurry. When I regained my wits, I was completely out of it. I was no longer in Lennoxville's student housing area; I was on a narrow and winding country road. My vision slowly returned.

I stood on the barren country road, looking around for familiar landmarks. There were none. I decided not to worry about it, and I chose to enjoy the gorgeous night instead.

I looked up at the night sky, and I felt like I was being swallowed up in a black dome. The contrast of the stars and the falling snow with the utter blackness of the night was striking, and for awhile, I had forgotten that I was in this completely unknown area.

I tore my eyes away from the sky. I looked around: grassy hills, patches of forest, two houses in the distance, and a railroad track surrounded me. I shivered, realizing that it was still quite cold out. I stuck my gloved hands in my pockets and made my way to the railroad tracks. It was the only thing that was remotely familiar.

I started walking on the railroad tracks in an Eastern direction, though not very conscious of my new surroundings. I noticed that my feet were making more and more of an imprint into the snow when I walked. The tracks were getting a little slippery, but I walked slowly and carefully. The snow kept on thickening.

After a few minutes, I looked up. Everything was white; the hills, the trees, the tracks, even the air I breathed, it seemed. Thick flakes of snow were still falling; it was like a blizzard but without the wind.
It was impossibly still.
Not even a rustling of wind.

I smiled. This was a world better than standing or sitting in someone's cluttered and customarily brewery-smelling livingroom trying to spot out someone who is not plastered to oblivion and interested in something more than just small talk.
Even though University is meant to cultivate and educate minds, it sometimes appears as though some people choose to let their minds degenerate. It is not always easy to find people here who want to do more than just go to the bar and drink.

And that's why I am here. Nature soothes and invites. It is a perfect solace. The beauty of it is that even if millions of other people see nature's beauty, you feel alone in your findings because nature is so vast, yet so personal.

I felt light and uplifted, like someone had taken away half my body weight. I appreciate the delicacies of nature, the trees, the water, the snow, the rain, the sky, and the smells...

The smells...
This can make a feeling from the pit of my stomach well up inside and burst out in a eclectic mix of light, energy, and enthusiasm. Sometimes, the feeling is sad and hopeless; other times, it triggers thoughts, emotions, or past events.

Just like the time I was walking out of the Main Student building on a muggy, rainy day. The smokers tend to congegrate right outside the building. I remember walking out of the building and the smell of the smoke as well as the dampness of the rain hit me simultaneously.
I was brought back to the winter 2003-2004 that I spent in Poland. Poland's winters are always grey. I was reminded so intensely of the times that Vadym and Simon stood outside of the dilapidated town office in Stoszowice, smoking, and laughing, though never a very enthusiastic laugh.

I kept walking on the snowy tracks, making sure not to slip in between the wood. I looked up, and I saw a large, drooping willow to my left. I smiled and squinted at it, taking in its majestic curves. I breathed in quickly; the tree reminded me. I remembered...



What was that memory? Retrace your steps, or else you'll lose it!

I stepped backwards. Or, at least, I tried stepping backwards, but I realized that I couldn't. There was nothing to step back on. I lost balance.

I started to fall. Quietly.


I hit my head on something hard and metal. I stood up, and my eyes were temporarily blurry again. I rubbed a growing bump on my head, whilst trying to realize where I was. There was light, and oh oh, low and behold; I was right in front of the grocery store! I was back.

My vision cleared up, and I could see that I had made it back into the town again. I looked around. I realized that I had hit my head on the lamp post that stood beside me. The bus stop was three feet to my right. The Hatley store stood across the street. Nothing had changed. I looked at myself.

My originally blue-coloured coat was white! I took off my gloves to touch my hair. Instead, my fingers felt about an inch of snow. I was entirely covered in snow!

I decided it was time to head home. I made my way to the bus stop and was fiddling with my wallet when,

"What a great night", Man number one says to me.

I look up and smile.

"Yes, it is; it's gorgeous."


"Where are you off to?" I ask.

"I'm taking a walk to clear my head", replies Man number one.

Fair enough.

I watch him saunter away, as the bus pulls up.

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