Our house gets a sliver of sunlight in the morning, when it has risen above the neighbor’s roof and not yet above our roof. Sometimes I stand in that spot for a few minutes before the day gets ahead of me and I’m scrambling for a moment anywhere.
In the north houses splay their windows in full sun, rows and rows of them on the south side, east side, west side. Where there is sunlight we let it stream in. In Texas it is not the same, and for as good a reason—though not the same reason.
I miss the streams of sunlight though.
It is halfway through fall and at home the leaves have all dropped from the trees and they stand like a row of wet cowlicks on end, black and stark. Here the leaves in my front yard have just changed colors and the hedges are their ever green.
I am going home for several weeks in December. I haven’t seen snow in over three years. Not real snow, the kind that piles and sticks and keeps you homebound. I know my northern friends will curse me for this, but I hope they’ll give me grace for my wishings since it is still before Christmas and everyone likes snow before Christmas.
After Christmas the snow, no matter how new it is, takes on a dingy look. Shoveling the walk, deicing the car, even sledding and snowball fights—all of them are a bit less fun.
Four winters ago I walked down the street of my small town one night at midnight. The snow was falling quietly, laying a clean path before me and erasing the footprints behind me, the street-lamps had taken on their snowy glow (you northerners know the glow I speak of). I burrowed my mittened hands in my coat and turned my face upward toward the snow, let it fall against my face, disappearing as soon as it touched my warm skin.
We have no way of knowing, sometimes, that we experience something and it will be our last for a very long time. I think we would bottle it up if we could, capture and keep it, like the treasures I keep in an old cigar box on the shelf in my bedroom. I think we might be more selfish with things like sunlight and snow and seasons. I know I would be.
I confess I am not a nostalgic type. Not in the sense that I keep things and pieces, but I keep memories. The feel of snow on my face and sun on my socked toes. I keep those memories, but I feel them slipping and it makes me sad, a bit. The same way, I suppose, a Texan would miss their wide open sky or BBQ or sweet tea.