“first snow” by aixchel
“omg it’s snowing so heavily! first time in my 5 years here…x“
i woke up this morning to a text message from a dear friend in nottingham, raving about the heaviest snowfall she’s seen in all the years she’s been in the united kingdom. just a couple of days before, another friend blogged about how londoners have been stunned by the amount of snow in the city and, in response, have promptly put on their leather gloves and made snowmen out in the streets. yet another posted up photographs of her friends doing the infamous jump outside their dorms in glasgow while some of her batchmates have christened their facebook photo albums “snow snow don’t go away!“
i had seen snow once, when i was between the ages of 4 and 5. my father spent 9 months in the chilly state of connecticut and my family traversed two continents and an ocean to be there with him. my neighbours gave me a pair of boots that leaked so i had frozen toes. i played with the 3-foot-thick snow in wool mittens so i had frozen fingers too. walking to kindy was an epic task on its own as i sunk into the cold with every step. my father had to dig his car out every morning after it was engulfed by the snowfall the night before. i had toboggan rides with the neighbours’ children and i made snowmen, like the folks in london are doing now. it was a good time to be a kid.
you know what kills me now? those are the only memories i have of snow. there is some consolation that since i can still recall those moments 20 years later, they are consolidated in my long-term memory and not likely to go away anytime soon. but i can’t remember what snow really feels like, its texture, the trickles of cold water seeping into my woolen gloves as it melts. i don’t remember how i felt during my first snow, how excited i must have been as i looked out the window and saw the gentle flakes making their way down to the ground.
one day, i’ll re-experience snow. maybe not in the next 10 years, or even 20, but the powdery coldness i am imagining now will be in my hands sometime in the future. and i will be transported back to that magical winter in connecticut and feel like a kid again.