Today I woke up, squinted to look out of the window and saw that snow covered every inch of the pavement. This is the first snow of the season, but it certainly won’t be the last. In fact, I think we’ll probably have an insufferable winter to make up for the “mild” one’s we’ve been having. I like snow; I just don’t like the accompanying cold weather. If only I could have one without having to deal with the other.
When it snow’s like this I don’t really mind it. This kind of snow is a light, wet, fluffy snow. It doesn’t have any ice or sleet or any other precipitation mixed with it so the streets aren’t that slick (at least for now they aren’t) and I don’t have to spend hours in subzero temperatures trying to dig my car out (my car only took me 5 minutes to sweep out today). When we get the first snow of the season I still get a little excited. Today was no different. I got up, grabbed my camera, and dashed outside to take pictures. Unfortunately, my camera obscures many of the brilliant details. The experience itself is a whole lot more vivid. I liken it to being inside of a snow globe. You know, the ones that have the little sceneries inside. When you shake them the little world encapsulated in the globe comes to life with sparkles and powdery little flakes.
My life of late has been a hellish little existence. No money, tons of bills. The little Avon business that I have to sustain me while I am unemployed hasn’t been doing well. To top it all off I have these graduate school applications that have been a thorn in my side for weeks. Two of my professors still haven’t turned in letters of recommendation. I’ve called them, emailed them etc. I still have to drive to the other side of town where my undergrad college is so that I can retrieve my transcripts. I have to re-edit a manuscript and take it to Staples to be copied and bound so that I can send it to those schools that requested a writing sample. And then yesterday I learned that on top of the personal statement I’ve already written (the one that took me weeks write, the one that nobody had time to proofread so I had to submit it anyway because my deadlines are fast approaching), yeah THAT wretched personal statement, I have to write a 2,000 word essay for one of the programs I’m applying to. Did I mention I just learned this yesterday! Of course they told me AFTER I submitted a nonrefundable $60 application fee.
I’m disillusioned about this whole process. After all I’ve been here before. I’ve been on the other side of a rejection letter. I know how it feels to have your dreams beaten out of you one by one—that’s been my life the last few years. That’s why I’ve branded myself an incurable cynic. I don’t know which one I’m more afraid of: Getting accepted into graduate school or not getting in. Getting in means that I work like a Hebrew slave taking on insurmountable workloads while subjecting myself to racism and discrimination on a daily basis. Not getting in means I continue to live at home with my parents while working unsatisfying, dead-end jobs, until the day I get so tired of the mundane that I lose my ever-lovin mind. (Yeah, I know I'm dramatic).
Life seems brutally cold and unfair. I feel as if someone has sucked all the joy, all the energy, all the good (however little there used to be) out of life and I’m left with the ashes of what once was. What remains? The monotony, the joylessness, and the madness! Outside of me and my problems, I watch relationships fail, dishonesty overwhelm, and integrity melt away into puddles of meaninglessness. I see the perilous situations that those I love must face, the poor choices that they have made, and the unrelenting consequences that follow. I shake my head. Try to keep moving. I stack one problem up atop the millions of others and file them away for another day. Like those math problems we all used to have back in high school--the ones that took a dozen sheets of paper to work out. After all the work trying to find an answer you discover that there is “no solution”. That’s how it all seems.
Today I felt something I hadn’t felt in a while: a twinge of childhood excitement brought on by the experience of the snow. It reminded me of building snow mounds in the backyard, drinking hot chocolate with long lost friends, and jumping up in down in ecstasy upon learning that school got canceled. I ache nostalgically for times long ago of snow angels, fireplaces, cider, promising embraces, and snowball fights. These are the moments that add the flavor to life. Like little snowflakes falling on cold cement, such things are the small treasures that take us outside of ourselves and point us to the Creator. Upon closer examination of the smallest of flakes is the faint realization that the bitter cold brings on wet fluffy blankets of the most breathtaking snow!
You can see the rest of my snow pictures by clicking here.