It snowed for the first time this season today. It’s not an entirely unexpected event for November, considering I live in the frozen lands of the north, but it is notable nonetheless. I’m somewhat dreading that there will be a good number of my friends who will give me crap for not getting incredibly excited about it. I guess I’m excited, just in my own special way. It’s the same excitement as when I realized that the shadows from the decorative stalks of wheat by the campus center make a really cool criss-cross pattern on the sidewalk, or when I walk by the chapel at night and look at the Christmas tree lights and the moon reflected on the windows. Or when I got down on my hands and knees outside one winter at home and saw that the spiral lighted Christmas tree had melted the deep snow around it and made a little flat space with archways leading out in which snow fairies could come and go as they pleased and dance under the lights and while smelling the preserved frozen oregano and basil of my mother’s herb garden. The snow gives the world an almost unnatural purity that I don’t always feel that it deserves, but these ice crystals from the sky are blind and bless everything they touch.
I cannot wait until next week when my tripod will arrive from home and I can take my camera out and have my last chance at this school to take pictures of the campus on a winter night. I guess being a photographer is a logical step for the little girl who would sit quietly during recess and admire the blue of the sky or the dandelions in the field when the other kids ran around and beat each other up. After I got over the heaviness of a nice camera and the fear of messing up one of the many buttons or adjustments on the lenses, it became a natural extension of my hand and eyes when I pick it up. My camera allows me to see and to capture the things that so many people don’t bother to notice, like the way the snow rests between the needles of the tall evergreen tree in the courtyard. I guess I may look like I’m in another world when I walk around on a day like today, but personally, I think I’m grounded even more deeply in this one.