Inspired by the Daily Prompt word ‘dim’
I braced myself against the chill wind. I had to stop intermittently to remove hard packed chunks of snow from my boots. The snow, which I thought would simply melt from the pressure of walking, didn’t, and so the unexpected pain and nuisance slowed down what would otherwise have been a romanticised walk.
I tried to leave a little extra time in the morning for my journey, but alas when I got to the small train station under the bridge I instantly noticed that the barrier ticket gates were all marked with red crosses. No green tick for me to pass this way today. The man at the kiosk tapped on the glass and beckoned me over. ‘Everything’s off’ he said, and apologetically indicated that there *might* be some busses going where I was headed, but he couldn’t be sure. He knew my weekly workplace destination, or at least the train stop that I travelled to, and I knew him by face, but we didn’t know each other’s names. Perhaps this was strange, but I was shy with strangers, and perhaps overly focused on my journey to work in the mornings to be able to think of much to say. I thanked him, and we exchanged goodbyes as I made my way back out into the cold.
Everything was slower. Pedestrians walked more deliberately yet confidently through the mounds of brown white snow as they crossed roads, knowing that the cars, busses, lorries and other vehicles were merely crawling along as their drivers struggled to grip the road. The water beckoned to me. Normally I would panic, or at least give way to a measure of anxious thoughts and imaginings, but I had worked hard to get to this point, and I was proud of myself. What could I do after all? It is what it is, and everyone else was in the same position. There were no taxis at the taxi rank, and I couldn’t see any buses that were going my way, and even if there had been one or two eastward bound, I was sure that they would take so much longer than if I were to walk, and after all I had left myself an extra 10 minutes, so I might make it near enough on time. I had left my phone at work, and so I did not know what time it was, but I had a rough idea. And so the decision was made. I smiled as I watched tufts of snow fall and hang heavy from fir trees outside the hotel. This will be a beautiful walk, I told myself. Almost romantic – a time to enjoy the beauty of the inclement weather, time to think and to commune with the Creator of earth’s fascinating beauties as I went.
And so I made my way to the riverside, leaving between me and the river a breaker of trees that did perhaps a little to shield me from the wind and the intermittent petals of snow blowing into my face and mouth. Clumps of snow gathered starkly against my dark hair, and with gloved fingers I brushed them down and picked out the clumps of cold white residue.
Despite the resistance of the walk, I knew in my heart that I had made the right choice, for it was beautiful. Birds flew, unperturbed over the river, and a soft hazy sunlight dimly graced a picture postcard morning scene of white on green as the trees hung heavy, an almost untouched blanket of white covering the grass, and couples and friends taking pictures, throwing snowballs or holding hands as they walked. I delighted in the beauty of the morning and the gift that it was to experience this unfolding day, even as I trudged through the city, crossing roads, and on past the park.
How much time had passed, I wondered, feeling like time itself had melted away. Perhaps half an hour, and hour, or two, who knew? I hoped that I would not be late. As I made my way tentatively and yet with an enchantment in my childlike heart, through the snow white covered park, I noticed school children laughing, trying to run, while others lay on the ground making ‘snow angels’. I could not see the path, but I knew that it wouldn’t be long until I reached my destination. As I passed through the park and back into the main streets I saw the clock tower in the distance, dimly as white flakes passed in front of my eyes, and as the brightness of the sun on pure white reflected back up at me. It was ten past the hour. Almost right on time, I thought. It was ok that I could not see the whole path, as long as I could see where to place my next step. I pressed on determinedly, with just a short way left to go. It had been a beautiful morning, despite the effort. A snow white beautiful morning, and a calm before the afternoon’s forecast storm.