The winter snow came overnight, silent and peaceful, preceded by doomsday news and overserious warnings of bad weather. It blanketed the stained ground with its beautiful pure white but ceded in the morning to the human toil in clearing the roads for the blood flow of the economy to run smoothly. The sun came through the clouds and ended the dance of snowflakes.
This is now the normal snowfall of the winter nowadays, a sudden apparition of vanished normality. It comes and then goes away just like a memory reminding of good old days.
It would have been my Dad’s birthday today, but he traveled to the unknown promissory world a few years ago, not to evade the flood of abnormality in our world but to follow to normal cycle of life on earth, with beings being born, living their lives then passing away towards hidden horizons.
I wonder, Dad, if there in the Paradise there are still winters, springs, summers and falls? They should, because if not, I will not understand why it’s called Paradise.
Back then, on the good old days, Dad used to measure carefully the snow depth, daily and carefully recording the results in a journal he kept for himself. Every end of summer, he will try to predict the first snowfall of the season. I never dared to verify that forecast. I remember the pride of finding out from the newspaper that we had the deepest snow in the country.
I’m going back to one of my most favorite books, John Updike’s “Centaurus”. Somewhere in Pennsylvania, a father and a son are stranded by a heavy snowfall and, despite the misfortunes, they find the time to open to each other and get to know each other better, therefore merging the bonds that should normally connect parents and their children. My family, somehow, had always found that time, because we lived by the cycles of nature and, even though fearful for consequences, we took every weather event just as it came, never complaining. School was only a necessary but unwelcomed interruption.
Like a child waking up in the middle of the night to watch, through the frozen windows, the quietly overnight snowfall I like to borrow that childish innocence and look at the snow with the same peace of mind.
And the snow will always remind about the peaceful time I had as a child, safeguarded by my parents.
The snow will always remind me that life and love should only be lived with innocence and joy.
Today, January 7th, 2022, is my father’s birthday. The northern gods of winter have sent me his message by the snowfall that came overnight.