Snow Days, A Year Apart


My favourite thing to wake up to is that strange light that seeps through the curtains when there’s snow on the ground. Those winter mornings where condensation slides down the inside of your window and the sky is pale blue and the world looks at peace, draped in a thick white blanket, and you don’t need to go outside to feel the crisp, fresh air because you can feel it from simply looking out at it, wrapped up in a towelled dressing gown.

Those cold winter mornings make me feel alive, free, like anything is possible. And today anything did feel possible. I’m in that glorious place at the minute where everything seems to just slip into place, where everything is bright and light and perfect and I seem to be able to soak up all the good- really soak it up, and fill myself up with it, elated, high on the ordinary.

Dad drove me to work today because of the weather, I revelled as my feet crunched in the snow as I hopped over to the car, felt the sting of the cold on my fingers, embraced the sound of water droplets hitting the ground as it started to melt from the rooftops, let the cold air puncture my lungs.

I explained excitedly why I’d stopped to take a polaroid on my way out the door,gave up when dad grumbled that it was ‘just snow’, an ‘inconvenience’, that I already have a ‘million’ photos of the same view from our house, from dozens of other identical snow days, so what made today so special? I chirped back that he should appreciate nature, refocused my efforts on making a note of every intricate detail of the landscape as he drove me to work. The sun hitting the hills just so, the footprints that dot the cycle path next to the main row, even the grey slush on the roads had a certain charm to it. And I felt it all coursing through me; that oh-so-pleasant little buzz of something beginning with ‘H’.

To get to my place of work, we have to drive the back roads that we would to get to the psychiatric hospital. It dawns on me that this day last year, I also woke up to snow- in that very hospital, after being admitted the previous night following a few days stint in general hospital after a suicide attempt of sorts. I remember sleeping the entire day, finally woken at dinner time and told I had to get up and dressed. I remember sitting outside in the narrow strip of ‘garden’, scoring the word ‘help’ with my finger into the snow.

And sitting in the car, driving past the hospital, looking in at that narrow strip of garden that the main road overlooks, I feel invincible, for today, I would write ‘ALIVE’.


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