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I’ll be the first to admit that – though there are lots of advantages to California’s weather on the coast – I really miss a good snowstorm. I’m not talking about an inch of sleet-snow mix that makes walking treacherous though it fails to bury even the grass; I mean a good, thick, hours-long dose of fat white flakes, drifting towards the earth before landing softly, yet powerfully, rendering movement outside impossible.

I loved those days on the east coast. I never felt “trapped” inside; I was one of the lucky ones who had a warm place to be and enough food to eat. So instead of dreading a paralyzing snowfall, I celebrated those days inside: cozied up with books and movies, made soup and cookies, and raised a glass to the glory of a snowfall that forced everyday life to stop.

Yesterday I awoke to the first of many pictures shared by mid-Atlantic friends and family who tried to capture the depth of the snow, even as it still fell. Pictures of snow piled upon deck chairs; benches in backyards nearly invisible because of high drifts; cars recognizable only because of the thin sticks of windshield wipers pointing towards the sky: all of these invoked a sense of longing in my heart. Soon, my Facebook feed filled with an all-white landscape of photos.

When finally I went outside, I was somewhat startled to realize that the snow was nowhere near me. Instead, it was warm(ish) and sunny on the North Coast. Slightly disappointed, I decided to see where I could find the color white in my own world.

I found it in a calla lily just outside my door:

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….in the waves of the Pacific Ocean, just down the street:

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…on my puppy’s front paws:

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…in a bird perched upon rocks:

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….hidden in the curve of a broken abalone shell:

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…in the commanding presence of clouds:

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…in the delicate petals of a flower:

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…framing green rows of leaves:

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…and painted on the wood of a fence:

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When I returned to my house, I read, baked, watched a movie, and made soup, as if I was  snowed in for the night. The coziness and delight of a momentarily monochromatic world is a unique pleasure, and though there’s nothing like a day on the coast, it could never replace the satisfaction of the occasional snow day – in my eyes, anyway.

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Tea, with so much cream that it’s nearly as white as the cup cradling it.

There’s a lot to enjoy about a sunny day in California; I know that. Yet while the deafening roar of the ocean’s waves is incredible, so too is the deafening silence of a world covered in snow, which quiets – for a second – that which so often pulls us elsewhere. So tonight, I’ll raise a glass to the glory of a snowfall that I know isn’t anywhere close to my front door. Remembering those days that I was lucky enough to enjoy, I’ll pretend, just for a little while, that I have no choice but to stay inside.

 

 

 

 

4 comments on “White things (that are not snow)

  1. Just have written a blog-post about the winter and the month of January with snow a.s.o.. But it seems the vast majority prefers your Californian way of spending winter which is also not so bad at all.

    1. Anna says:

      Definitely true – I don’t mind the California winters most of the time. Looking forward to checking out your blog! Thanks for reading!

  2. I am glad you did this for yourself! Such a beautifully written post!

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