The First Snowfall


It’s only sodding October and it’s already snowing here in the greater Chicagoland area. It started yesterday afternoon, stopped for a full day’s time, then started up again this afternoon. I had the distinct privilege of being able to watch it from my office window well (that’s right–my office’s glorious window view of the world outside is in a window well). Half of the walls in my office are ordinary drywall, the other two are concrete slabs. These two walls, obviously, provide no insulation, so my office is constantly a refrigerator. I really can’t wait until winter fully sets in and the temperature drops to 10 and 20 degrees below zero. I’m almost ashamed to invite people in for chats as it is – I set up meetings in hallways and bathrooms now.

It’s strange–in the movies, snow is always utilized more or less as romantic imagery. It serves as a perfect backdrop to romance and Christmas and romantic Christmas movies. The boy and girl embrace each other and kiss tenderly and a single snowflake gently lands on her eyelash. The two look up to see a barrage of snowflakes, cascading from the sky, and a bunch of kids run out of a colonial-style house into the frontyard and yell, with delight, “It’s snowing! It’s snowing!” and they all celebrate the first wintry snowfall.

In real life, it’s rarely ever like this.

The first snowfall of the year is usually on a cold day in October or November, when the skies are overcast with dark, grey clouds–billowing and ominous–and the wind whips violently (and directly) against your face, making it nearly impossible to breathe. The snow is usually a mixture of rain and ice and it slaps your cheeks like a drunk, angry wife. People that are fated to have to be outside during it pull their jackets up around their necks and half-gallop, half-stride across the parking lot, hoping to escape the cruel unrest swirling around them without looking like too much of a fool in front of their business associates (appearance–even in times of great peril–is everything in the professional sphere).

The first snowfall is miserable and depressing.

And today, I was allowed the opportunity to peer over the tops of the piles of paperwork that clutter my desk and watch the first snowfall from my office at the bottom of the window well.

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