ShowFall


"I spent the longest time timeless there."

The snow day came on a Sunday, seventeen degrees and snowing like a Son of a Bitch outside. The weather reporter insisted that it had never been this cold here this early in the season, the previous record low only in the mid-thirties. We were headed for single digits overnight. The paper never came, though the roads remained bare, still holding heat leftover from yesterday's nearly seventy degree sunshine. The neighbor kids were out in it, screaming down the steep sidehill, scraping it bare before the snow could gain any real depth. Rose The Skittish Spinster Cat huddled so close to the gas fireplace that she seemed to steam as she slept. I grabbed the latest John Sanford Freaking Flowers novel, a serendipitous find at the library the morning before, and retreated to the master bedroom to read and revel in the sublimely isolating weather. Neither The Muse nor I were gonna spoil that fifteen dollar car wash sloshing around through snow.

By the next morning, the roads would likely be bare and dry. At this altitude, nearly eight thousand feet, once the snow stops and the temperature drops, moisture evaporates off the asphalt so quickly the roads swirl with steam, ice never getting a chance to set.
Trees quickly adjust to the sudden intrusion of January, small birds switching from insects to pine pollen as their primary source of supper. Magpies move in rough formations, patrolling for any unusual activities, stopping to sip snow melt from gutters catching roof runoff. The Front Range has receded from its usual front row seat, becoming more a part of the Continental Divide than the first row overlooking endless prairie flooding eastward. Rooftop vent pipes steam. The snow seems inseparable from the air.

I glance up from the opening chapter to catch a glimpse of swirl swerving before the big window. Snowflakes seem to be playing chicken with the glass, screaming in from nowhere, only to sift downward just before colliding with the plate. I let that first glance pass, back to the story, on with my day, but soon catch myself glancing up again. My attention switches back and forth until it finally focus solely upon that snow, screaming in like the neighbor kids sledding down the sidehill, each flake seemingly googly-eyed wild as if trying to scare me. They're a genuine hoard out there, endlessly attacking, never slapping themselves against the glass, freshly faking me out each time. I'm transfixed.

I suspect that a different frequency of consciousness took over then. I found I could not just bend back to my book again, but held my focus upon the snowfall's show. A flake would come into focus, quickly dart aside, only to be followed by another and another and an infinite other, each clearly unique, each somewhat the same. The choreography proved entertaining enough and I could not stare away, so I just stayed there, an extremely appreciative, transfixed audience of one. I recalled sitting hypnotized before similarly swirling snowfall when I was small, back when the entire world and the unknowable universe surrounding it seemed to have been staged expressly for my entertainment. I sat in the loge seats then, unconcerned with what watching any performance might be distracting me from, perfectly self-contained. I found myself there again, observing without distraction or expectation, simply experiencing. I spent the longest time timeless there.

©2018 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved









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