When the blizzard hit (last weekend?), I was here in Southern California. I think we might have had some clouds, but we most certainly did not have snow drifts. Or snow flakes. Or weather, as the rest of the country defines it.
I heard on the news that New Haven, Connecticut, got thirty-four inches of snow. I instantly remembered trudging through a snowstorm in New Haven when I was a young bride. Snow had begun to fall while I was working at the attorney’s office on The Green and the attorney I worked for sent me home early.
I started to walk home so my husband wouldn’t have to drive our only vehicle to come and pick me up. By the time I’d covered the mile or so, I was literally leaning into the wind and stomping through knee-deep snow. Good times.
So when I heard about thirty-four inches of snow in New Haven, I thought about how weird it is, how positively mind-boggling that we used to live there. We used to live on the East Coast and stand in lines for an hour to pay. We learned to deal with super rude customer service employees. We goggled at the unbelievably beautiful autumn colors and historic architecture. Once or twice, during my lunch break, I’d wander over to the Yale museums and stare at art that I didn’t really understand.
I’d stand at my office window and look down at the the three white-steepled churches spaced out on The Green and watch people. A lawyer worked on another floor in our building and he walked like a duck and he was such a nerd that I could hardly believe he was for real. Once I dragged my husband down to The Green to watch Shakespeare performed live. We spent one Christmas watching a foreign film at a small theater.
And now we are living on the other coast with four children, a dog, two cats and two fish. I’m not sure anyone from that life would recognize the older version of me. I’m not sure I would recognize this older version of me if I were still the younger version of me. Life has way of transforming you, one way or another.
I would like to think of life as a timeline, all tidy and orderly, moments marked off in even increments. But really, I’m finding my life to be more tangled. It makes as much sense as a three-year old’s scrawling picture of a storm. As a sequential sort of gal, I find the wackiness to be off-putting. To say the least.
Sometimes, just to blow my mind, I try to even imagine what life will be like in twenty years. My life today was unimaginable twenty years ago. I’m not sure whether to be terrified or delighted at the prospect of an unpredictable future.
I wonder if there will be snow?
2 thoughts on “Blizzard inspired”
As someone who’s spent too much time visit a rehab facility and a hospital in the past ten weeks, I say it’s time to start preparing for being elderly, mentally, now. There are things you can do. I think Penelope Wilcock lists them in one of her books on aging. Develop an attitude of gratitude, pare down possessions, learn to live with little, always have something to look forward to, etc.
I have read your blog for many years, and have always enjoyed it…what I admire most is that you are not compelled to wax poetic at every corner. Your blog is a great insight to your soul and so very honest. Thank you.
PS—I have a sneaky suspicion, the West Coast is going to be a blip on the radar of your life…fleeting at best. I wish you happiness and inspiration…and season changes…