I look up from my book “The Art of the Book Proposal”. My eyes venture to the bird cages. It is pleasantly quiet in the room. Mickey and Henry rest at my feet. Tutu and Koo Koo are well-behaved. They like to have company and to feel part of the family. Then, my gaze rests on the window. Small, white particles are falling down. Is it snowing? Soon, the flakes multiply and a white layer covers the balcony, grill and outside furniture. How exciting…
This is my first snow in over a decade! I have no idea how much will fall or whether it will stick around. But, it is finally here. In Belgium, it rarely snows and when it does, it usually disappears quickly, after making the children happy for a day, or maybe two. My husband has told me about the snow here, warned me about its proportions and consequences. I always kind of disregard it. How bad can it get, something so pretty?
I think about Mark. He had to go back to Newburyport – four hours away – for work, and would come back the following day. I hope the snow will not inconvenience him. The driveway to our “borrowed” house is pretty steep and our little Prius does not have winter tires. He’ll be all right, as long as there is no icy rain in the forecast. Mark’s winter stories made me a bit worried. I have no idea about how to handle a lot of snow. Maybe I won’t have to find out?
The next morning, I decide to savor the changed weather conditions. Based on the outside furniture, about an inch of snow has fallen. That counts!
I open the front door and take in the fairytale scene. The yard and trees are covered in virgin snow. Not a footprint yet, just a few animal tracks.
Previous years, our friends and family told stories about the cold winters and relentless snow. I couldn’t care less, while cruising in the tropics. This year, Mark and I wanted to experience those New England winters; we wanted to be part of the white world.
I look around. It is dead-quiet; not a peep from the forest, not a sound from the sky. The road is far away. I step out into the wintry landscape, coat and hat keeping me snug. My shoe crunches and sinks into the powdery substance. I smile… and embrace nature. She never ceases to amaze me. I take a second step and am officially a part of winter.