The other night I was returning home through downtown Olympia and they had beautiful (tasteful) lighted snowflake decorations up in the streets. I had a sudden urge to be sitting downtown in a dusky coffeeshop by the fire, drinking a latte and watching the snow fall outside. It’s December, so it could happen :) It got me thinking about the magical nature of snow. It transforms the landscape, making even the dingiest, coldest city streets beautiful. It seems to transform our lives, bringing back the wonder of childhood. Perhaps it’s the sheer magnitude and completeness of the transformation, that along with its beauty, makes it so wonderful. That thrill of going to bed on Christmas Eve as a child, wondering if the world would be white when you woke up. Or maybe the reprieve of snow on a schoolday, or a good-excuse-to-stay-home-from-work day, since everyone knows Seattleites are hopeless in the snow.
I got to musing about other weather that has magical effects on me, that makes me stop and look, experience. There’s an early fall thing that has always held a strange electric excitement for me – at the end of September or early October, when the nights are not yet freezing, there comes a night when the wind is whipping up but strangely warm, when the dry leaves are circling in the air and the trees are swaying and rustling, the night sky clear and bright, the moon rising. Every year it comes, and every year I have a tremor, a sense that anything could happen, my life could change tonight. I know where that comes from – those teenage years when I was out late at night and anything was possible.
Also fall, when the colors of the leaves sear themselves into your eyes, and it’s all you can do to keep driving and not looking. You could lose yourself in those leaves, and never get where you are going. Too bad there’s somewhere to go, but into the forest.
The Moon… it never fails to hold my attention. Whether glowing through fog or wispy through clouds, silver, gold, blue or orange, full and bright or the barest sliver, any time I see the moon I watch, and wait, and contemplate the night.
I wish I could say I have the same love for the sun, but it doesn’t love me. In any day of not-summer, there are times when the sun has its glories – usually in spring or summer when the sky is washed clean and a deep blue, crystalline against the bright green of the trees. Sometimes I may walk down the street and just marvel at the livingness of it. There’s a particular quality that this has due to the auras in my vision that make this especially brilliant for me, I think…