by Jennifer Michelle N.
"I don't like snow." I admitted, resting my cheek against my living room's icy-cold window, and sighing as I watched the innocent, white flakes float down from the sky. They hadn't done anything to me, but I didn't like them. I didn't like the way they would stick to the grass when I wasn't watching, and yet melt on contact when I was. I didn't like the way they took their time in falling from the sky and stacking up on the ground, but always seemed in a hurry to melt away, and escape back into the sky. I didn't like the oh-so brief amount of time they gave me to enjoy them before they faded, and left behind a soggy, sad looking yard.
"You used to think it was the best thing ever." Adrian said. He sat across the window seat from me, everything about him contradicting everything about me. I was slumped down in the seat, my shoulder hunched, my entire body limp, but he was sitting up perfectly straight, his chin held high, and his shoulders back as his entire body thrummed with a sense of barely-contained happiness. "You used to love it. You used to sing 'Let It Snow' with me, because mom told us that if we sang, it would snow twice as hard." He smiled at the memory.
I shrugged. "We were younger then. Just the idea of getting any snow at all, no matter how little it was, or how quickly it melted, was enthralling. I was too young to see the squishy, muddy mess it left behind just a few hours after it fell, or how pathetic a stepped-in, shoveled, trudged through lawn of snow looks next to a perfect, untouched blanket early in the morning. With the sunrise glinting off it, and the excitement it would bring." My lips twitched. "Then it all gets ruined, all too quickly."
"Why should that mean anything?" Adrian asked. "What, just because it doesn't last forever, it's no good?"
"No." I said, frowning. "It's just that having to deal with it melting is worse than getting excited over it sticking.
He frowned too. "I don't think so."
I shrugged. "You're old. You're not supposed to agree with me."
"I'm only nineteen--four years older than you." He teased. "And if getting 'old' means getting to enjoy things like this more," He motioned out the window, the lawn, which was lightly sprinkled with white. "Then I couldn't be happier about it."
"I enjoy it!" I exclaimed.
"You just said you didn't."
"I said I didn't like it." I countered. "And I never specified which part of it I didn't like! I just said snow."
"No!" I sat up a little straighter. "I mean, of course there are parts I like! This part, for example, is alright, and even the days after it first falls are bearable, but the best part is the part that lasts the shortest amount of time."
Adrian arched one eye brow, and said nothing.
I sighed in frustration. "You see, by tomorrow morning, our entire yard will be covered in snow. Perfect, white, untouched snow, but by eleven o'clock in the morning, I guarantee you there'll be footprints, and mud, and snow trucks, and even little melted piles of snow everywhere! Then it won't be pretty anymore, and that's the part I don't like."
"The pretty part or the transition from pretty to not-so-pretty part?"
"Both." I huffed. "The pretty part would be nice, if only I could forget that it was always on the precipice of being ruined. Otherwise, I'm always worrying. Always trying too hard to look harder, which my eyes aren't capable of, and worrying that, since I can't look hard enough, it's all been wasted. You only get so many perfect blankets of snow in your life, and I've wasted all of them, and I just don't like that."
Adrian watched me for a moment, then glanced out the widow again. "I disagree." He said quietly, after a brief silence. "I understand what you mean, of course, and I do feel sad sometimes that kids always run out there, and are so quick to mess up something so pristine, and beautiful. I'm sad that I want to do the same, sometimes. But then I really look at it, harder than my eyes are capable of, and I see. I see that there are a lot of different kinds of beauty, especially with snow. A trudged through, muddy, messed up, half-melted lawn has a warm, playful feeling. You look at it, and you can almost hear the echoes of laughter, and the thwack of snowballs from earlier in the day. But then again, you look at a blanket of pure, perfect snow, and you just feel in awe of it. They're both beautiful, to me. And when I see an entirely melted field, I don't think of the snow that was there, I think of the snow that's coming. Either this year, or next, or in a couple of hours--whatever. There will be snow again, and it will be beautiful, in a thousand different ways again."
He stood, not waiting for my response, and ruffled my hair. "Learn to see beauty in more ways than one." He teased. "It makes life so much more fantastic."
He left, rather abruptly, after that. Maybe he came back in, and I just didn't notice it, or maybe it was fate trying to agree with him, but it wasn't long after that that I noticed my snow boots, jacket, and gloves sitting by the front door.
I glanced out at the yard again, replaying Adrian's words in my head, and then--unhesitatingly--slipped on my gear, and ran down outside, for once enjoying the crunch of snow, and squish of mud under my boots.
It always surprises me how I can start out writing to entertain others, and end writing simply because the work I have created entertains me more than it could ever entertain anyone else.
Pieces Inspired by this Image
'Interior Christmas (With Snow Angel)'
'Slope of Perfection'