As a university student, I don’t watch TV, and I don’t really check the weather. My life consists of typing up lectures, screenshotting slides, attending seminars and reading. Lots of reading. (Mainly reading)
Last week, I was sat in my lecture, one of my favourites of the week. It’s about regional writers and I was experiencing the literature of someone completely new for the first time. I sat enraptured for an hour and a half, expecting myself to get tired, but avid until the end.
As I left the room before the straggle of other students, I said thank you to the lecturer and pushed open the door.
Outside of the lecture room is a wall of windows that overlook a small courtyard. The trees are usually bent against the cold wind, and the grass is a bit withered, huddled together waiting for spring. As I looked up, everyone waiting for their lectures was looking out of the window.
My mouth falls open and I slow down. Snow.
I was like a child again. I feel the excitement grip my ankles and I almost want to sprint to the door. I remind myself that I am in fact 20, not 6, years old and I should not be this excited for frozen liquid.
But I am.
When I step outside I laugh and lift my face to the sky as if I am the only person in the world who can experience this. I had forgotten what it felt like to feel that sharp cold hit my face, only to slip away leaving your skin flushed.
The snowflakes fell thick and fast, and I don’t even know how to handle myself. I had never seen snow like it. The flakes looked dark against the white sky.
The snow took me completely by surprise. I was slipping and sliding down the pavement, laughing at my poor choice of foot wear, and breathlessly happy.
I walked through the botanical garden and sent messages to my family. I had never felt further away than in that moment. The snow has a beautiful effect on the world.
The world slows down, cars stop running, people stay inside, and footsteps are blanketed. The world sounds different, more muffled. Like you could say anything and it would disappear without consequence.
The snowflakes began to wet my hair, and I began to think about the last time I had seen snow. For me then, it meant so much worse. The snowflakes were black with fear, nervousness and dread. It meant organising and planning “worst case scenario” for Mum. It felt like it was us against Mother Nature.
Yet for the first time, I just let it go. I let the snow dampen and tangle my hair without delving into myself and cutting open old wounds. I just let myself experience this new blanketed world without any hint of the old pain I used to hold so close.
I was simply happy. Happy without a cost. Happy without guilt.
Eventually amidst my wonderings I became aware that my hands were frozen, so I hurried to the nearest costa and ordered a Chai Latte. It defrosted my hands, and I watched the snow flurry. I did not need to worry anymore.
All I needed to do in that moment, was sit. Watch the snow. Drink my latte. And Breathe.