It may sound weird, but she actually does. I will explain...
A while back, in summer I think it was, I was driving my friend Warren home after hanging out for the evening. It was after 11pm and pitch dark. For those of you who know the town I live in, he lives right across from the capitol building. We were driving down the street past it, when he pointed at the sky near the large dome on top of the building. "Whoa, look at that!" he said, sounding pretty amazed.
I looked. "What, all those birds?" As I said it I realized it couldn't be birds, that late at night, in such a huge swarm.
"Those are bats," he corrected me. Well, at that point it was time to park the car and get out to go look at the bats. We sat on the low wall on the side of the walkway leading up to one of the doors of the building and just watched the bats for a good hour. The building lights were on and they were after the insects that were swarming the lights. It was awesome. Earlier in the day a double rainbow had appeared in a still-cloudy sky (what does it all mean!?!) and now the bats. We felt like Mother Nature was just making sure we were still paying attention and still suitably amused/entertained by her displays. We were.
Fast forward to Wednesday. In the morning, roswellgray
called and invited me to come over later and hang out. I told her I'd come by around 7pm, and that I'd call her before I left. I went about my day, doing laundry and not much else. When the time came I called her, and then I set out. I left earlier than I normally would, because it had been snowing all day.
I walked outside and immediately thought oh no, it's still snowing. It's going to snow all night and the car is going to be buried. Oh well, I told her I'd come over and I want to have a chance to hang out with her before she has her surgery on Friday and heads up to her parents' place after the weekend to recover.
All this was true. Normally, a steady, all-day snow would cause me to cancel nearly anything, but I wanted to hang out with my friend. So I got in the car and backed out of the garage slowly and carefully.
What I saw in the parking lot was stunning, to say the least. The snow was light, dry and fluffy, and it had coated everything with a very fine layer of sparkles. As it hit the windshield I noticed that the flakes were big enough that I could actually see that they were snowflake-shaped. Beautiful. As I drove I saw that anywhere the snow had touched was now twinkling with silver-white glitter, sparkling in any available light. The best views were unmarred lawns where no foot had broken the new layer, and where any nearby street lamps were dim at most. Even with no street lamps, the headlights would sweep past the medians in the middle of some roads and even those were suddenly amazingly beautiful. The road itself was sparkling, even in the spots where tires had worn through to the blacktop and the layer of new snow wasn't deep enough to be visible.
I came out of a depression in December of 2009. By the same time in 2010 it had not come back, and I felt I was ahead of the game. So far it still has not come back, and it's been over a year. But in the heavy, snowy winter of 2009, I stood at the window and marvelled at the beauty of the snow, the ice gleaming on the tree branches, and basically everything. When I couldn't find any reason to hate winter that year, I knew I was no longer depressed. However, this snow, last night's unbelievable snow...was more beautiful than any winter I can remember. At least once on the way to her house I almost cried, I was so overwhelmed by the amazing scene all around me. Twice on the way home, and then in the bathroom I did actually cry a little. I forgot how big and how beautiful Nature is.
Once, when I was living in Colorado and going to school there, I saw something that really made me think about Nature like this. I was walking home from an evening class, and it was dark. Probably at least 10pm. The mist had been rolling in all afternoon and evening, and by the time I had to walk the two blocks back to my apartment, the whole town was shrouded in it. Lamp posts loomed out of the thick white cloud in places on campus, and further apart once I left school property. But the walk was truly amazing. And I realized as I walked, that this mist had been coming in while I was in classes, not watching it at all. Even if I wasn't outside to see it, the mist would've still been there. It would've looked the same even if nobody was outside to see it. Nature doesn't give us these things, she just does them, and when we're lucky enough to be out in it, to get a look at what Nature's doing, it's our own good fortune to be in the right place at the right time.
I don't know why this particular snowfall hit me as hard as it did. I don't know why I'm sitting here, almost three hours after getting home, still utterly blown away by the beauty of Nature. If I had been able to get a decent picture, I would have. However my cell phone camera couldn't even get a picture of the bats in the summer, and I don't have another camera I can use at present. Honestly, I know nothing about taking pictures at night, or how to get something like silvery snow sparkles to show up on film. A picture probably wouldn't have been able to convey the feeling I was experiencing, anyway. When I was coming inside, my fingers and toes were freezing, and I was still reluctant to step inside the house. What I really wanted to do was put my purse on the steps and go back out and walk around in it, just looking at everything. But it was getting late, and once I was in the warm indoors I could really feel those fingers and toes starting to hurt.
I don't know why it happened, or why I was affected so strongly by the sight. Or why I still am. I just feel like maybe Mother Nature does check in on us from time to time. Maybe she does make these things in order to see if we're still paying attention, once in a while. I'd forgotten, and I can't say for sure that I won't forget again, but for the time being I'm just happy I got to go outside and see what Nature was doing. If there's something I'm meant to know about this feeling, I'll know it when I need to. For now, I'm just happy. Still...just...happy.