I sat down ready to write, propped up against the wall and sitting on my bed. I was working on my first novel. The bedcovers were pulled up over my legs. My mate was set on my bedside chair. My princess canopy, mosquito net was pulled to one side. Though it was cold and I wore a sweatshirt, all my doors and window were open. Cold in Paraguay is fifty-something degrees Fahrenheit. A light breeze made the laundry on my indoor clothesline flutter.
As I poured another draft of mate my mind absently started to wonder to where I left off in my novel. I stared out the window. At that moment, the misty rain was floating down at an angle. It was quiet. The rain started two days before; it brought with it a tranquility beyond any calm possible in the blistering heat that came before the rain. The rain sent people indoors and blanketed everything with a film of water that amplified birdsongs. There was less loud music than usual. Watching the mist fall made me suddenly remember my favorite childhood days. It had been a long time since I last thought of them.
The best days growing up in Vermont were snow days. I would find myself inside drinking hot chocolate and watching the snow drift from the sky. Those gray mornings were lazy, but they marked the calm in the storm. Snow fall followed a crescendo with a climax of me putting on my boots, snow pants, sweater, jacket, mittens, scarf, and hat and then plunging out into the sideways-sailing snow. Sometimes the desire to sled in fresh powder drove me away from the fireside. More often, however, it was my unexplainable interest in the absolute silence that descends on the forest when it snowed. Silence so thick I could hear fluffy flakes stick to the ground after sifting through the barren branches overhead. I could hear the trees groaning under their white burden.
I would sit in the woods or walk noticing animal tracks and the painted fans created by bird wings in the winter crust when they took off from the shimmering ground. I love snow from the tips of my toes to the top of my hat. I always have.
It seems ironic that it took me a grand adventure all the way to subtropical Paraguay to remember. To recall just how much wading through hip-high snow made me smile or how much I laughed when I would accidently dump a tree-full of snow down my neck by poorly selecting which tree bow to grab. But, then again, it’s not so strange I tucked away my memories of snow days and forgot where for many years. I was swept up in a life too busy to stop and listen to the weather happen around me. It is so easy to always doing in America. It is important to do, but we all should take snow days. Without night there would be no day, and similarly without pause we can not see from where we came or to where we are going.