Grew up in Florida, rarely even seen snow. Twenty-two years old, fresh out of college, working in Florida, sent for a two week class in Ohio. In December.
Started snowing the day after arrival. Walking around on the weekend, cutting across fields through snow, headed towards town. Ice on the roads, ice in eyebrows and on eyelashes, ice all over three layers of jackets.
Finally get to town, walking up to a shopping square. Nineteen eighty-four was the year; the only similarity to Orwell was that everything looked like nineteen forty-eight. 1940’s Christmas music being played through the parking lot speakers; lights across the icy window displays in all the brightly lit stores. Looking like Christmas always looked in magazine illustrations, breath steaming the air.
Wandering, exploring, wondering, marveling. Seeing as through the eyes of a child: all things new, most things beautiful. Alone.
Milestones. Rites of passage. Things that mean everything, but to only one. Finding new meaning in the season without the benefit of company.