Sunday, October 30, 2011

October Snow

Everyone's talking about the early snow that's falling tonight. I think the most common things I'm hearing or reading are "... can't believe," or "... can't remember," when folks look up or out at the thick flakes.

For me, although it's been a long time, I do remember a snow once in October. I remember most vividly that I was only half way through the list of yards that I'd agreed to rake when those two icy inches of snow fell. It made the remaining work hard and muddy and cold. But when the sun came out afterwards and I plied up those clumps of matted leaves with my little steel rake and the earth released that musty smell that it has when it's scratched up after having lain beneath snow and leaves, I remember thinking it felt more like Spring than late Autumn.

That odd, out of place feeling, stayed with me that whole season and it wasn't until the holidays that year, I think, that I got some sense of normalcy back.

Now the feeling is stronger, if a little different. Not that I'm out raking leaves for hire these days. But this untimely weather has scratched up memories that have lain under the passing of many years and I feel a bit like I'm walking in an earlier time. It's like I'm being led by the hand by some ghost out of a Dickens story through a time in my life that seems unreal to me now.

I'm always dumbfounded by how much feeling goes with those memories, and how fresh it can feel, even though it's been years since the things that made those feelings happened. People and times that I'd thought I'd forgotten or at least forgotten to think or feel about when they stopped coming in and out of my life. And though I'm hardly a Scrooge, I feel for a moment like him re-examining the turns that led me out of that time and towards the place that I am now.

It's late, or early maybe, and I'll be off to get the last hour or two of sleep I can before the kids wake up and bring me back to the present. I can see from the window that the cars outside are frosted with about an inch of wet snow - not too bad; shouldn't keep us from going out Trick or Treating on Monday.

Though there are not leaves to rake for me this year (benefits of city life) there's enough else these days to get me back to the present in a hurry. And it's just as well. I'll let that cold silvery hand go at the first gleam of sun in the morning. Just a couple of hours more.

Good night.

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