Monday, April 14, 2008

The Last Snow

There was still snow here at the beginning of March - over this winter we got nearly four feet, and it takes such a long time to melt. All Iowa was fairly miserable, including me. Having grown up in the Southern US, I had never really experienced a serious winter, and the three I've spent here in Iowa have been depressingly cold, windy, and bitter.

My high-school friend Bennette came to the 'frozen tundra' for his spring break. He's living in North Carolina right now, attending school there, and hadn't really seen much snow all winter. Almost as soon as his feet touched the ground of Drake campus, his eyes lit up and he rolled every inch of white he could find into a ball that was quickly directed at any nearby target (usually me.) While many of the other students shared my dislike for the snow, Bennette's delight was contagious, and helped me remember how I had once felt about winter. I remember many snow days in high school (I lived in Richmond, VA) that my close friends (Bennette included) and I migrated to the nearest parks, clad in our parent's snow boots and double-layered peacoats, shuffling through barely-dusted ground in winter glee, cheeks rosy and hands freezing through thin gloves. There was always lots of laughter, something you certainly don't hear much of in the snow here.

What had happened to that girl, I wondered? She had relocated, redesigned, changed completely over the last three years. I had lost some vital part of myself, perhaps beaten down by grief or worry or too much cold weather. I vowed that before the last snow melted, I would attempt to recover some of her. Now that spring is finally peeking out from every corner, I feel like I've actually stuck to this late resolution.

This time around, it's not the first snow that seems to be a clean slate, coating the world in purity. For me, it was the last snow of the winter - and the first blooms of spring.

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