“No way! Really! What a surprise!!”
Gabriella makes a 360 degree turn holding her cellphone.She leans against the dining chair and reads the current weather again “ Winter storm warning in effect until midnight..A strong arctic cold front has pushed through…Temperature will continue to fall across the area with most of Texas below freezing already and freezing rain will turn into sleet and snow. University and most of the offices are closed today due to this inclement weather.”
Her overly excited legs pad on the cold tiled floor towards the kitchen window. She opens the wooden blind.
“O,My!” Her voice an octave higher.
Outside, the flurries of snow has been roiling in the air and dancing in perfect synchronization, thudding against the ground. The morning light struggles through the murky cloud and dazzles on the snow. The tree branches hang low with the weight of snow. A thick white comforter of gorgeous snow covers the rooftops. All the brown and golden fall leaves on the deck look exquisite.
“Is it a fairyland!” A loud clap of laughter bursts from her mouth.Her eyes dancing now. They go wide and shiny and bright again. Her eyebrows are so high, the’re nearly hidden beneath the long bangs on her forehead and then, in an instant she takes a decision.
There is no point of wasting time. She loves winter and her favorite is a day in snow! Robert Frost’s poem A Winter Eden flashes in her mind
“A winter garden in an alder swamp..
As near a paradise as it can be
And not melt snow or start a dormant tree….
So near to paradise all pairing ends:
Here loveless birds now flock as winter friends,
Content with bud-inspecting…
A feather-hammer gives a double knock.
This Eden day is done at two o’clock…”
It is too exciting for Gabriella to stay inside. After bundling up in jacket, woolen hat, scarf and glove, she opens the front door and steps out to take a walk in the green belt trail. As she takes a turn towards the trail, from the trail of her eye she glances at the older couple standing on their front porch. They wave their hands with a smile. Gabriella stops at the curb.
“ Good morning Gabriella!” Mrs.Bezos wraps her grey and white shawl around her exposed neck. “Are you going somewhere?”
“ Morning!” Gabriella waves her hand. She points at the trail. “ Yes, to take a small walk in the trail.”
“ Are you crazy?In this weather!” The small smile is still in tact on her face but her eyes widens for a moment and her mouth slightly ajar. She gives a quick shake of her head. Her husband steps in.
“ Sweetie, the roads are now very slippery so don’t venture too far.” He thrusts both his hands in his jacket pockets.
“I know.” Gabriella nods her head, “ You stay warm.” She continues her walk. The native Texans don’t like the snowy weather. They enjoy more of a clear, sunny weather.It is extremely cold with icy rain and slippery concrete sidewalk, but it is perfect for Gabriella. Her breath is pale against the numbing air, she blinks as the ice perfectly touches her face and dust her eyelashes. The wind whispers as the snow falls like confetti on her deep blue woollen cap.It is almost forty-five minutes of walking, there is not a single soul in the trail and her mind is completely enveloped in Percy Shelley’s poem on snow –
The cold earth slept below;
Above the cold sky shone;
And all around,
With a chilling sound,
From caves of ice and fields of snow
The green grass was not seen;
The birds did rest
On the bare thorn’s breast,
Whose roots, beside the pathway track,
Had bound their folds o’er many a crack
Which the frost had made between…
Her cell phone lights up in her jacket pocket. She adjusts her footing on the icy road and stops.
Her husband is in the phone.
“ Where are you? In a venture?”
Before Gabriella answers he says, “ The roads are so slippery and it is extremely cold! You
should not have gone out.”
“ I am returning from my walk and not to worry. It is getting very slippery but I am careful.”
“You are really crazy! Who takes a walk in this type of weather? Okay walk slowly and come home.” He hangs the phone. Her husband likes the cold and snow, but he prefers to stay inside and enjoy scenes from the living room window with a cup of hot cocoa or read his newspaper sitting near the fireplace.
As the icy rain falls harder and faster, Gabriella decides to turn around and return home continuing with Shelley’s poem on her head
“The wind made thy bosom chill;
The night did shed
On thy dear head
Its frozen dew, and thou didst lie
Where the bitter breath of the naked sky
Might visit thee at will.”