When did the first snow come? After Thanksgiving, the day after, the day when the kitchen still smelled of turkey and stuffing and mincemeat pie.
They’d looked out the window as the first big, soft flakes came, snow flakes that looked like the outline of flakes in a child’s coloring book, six-sided, each one different. She didn’t even question their difference, or how it could be known. The first ones melted so quickly, and the last ones merged into the whole, the single flake becoming snow.
The pure whiteness of the blanket of snow had been beautiful. She had fumbled for the words. Blanket was too suffocating. Sheet—not right. Cover—depth—accumulation? All those words the weather people use. How to find one word that gave the white, the cold, the cover, the immensity that stretched down the yard, across the sidewalk to the boulevard, over the car, into the street, on and on and on. That was four months ago and now the great sheet, the icy blanket, the infinite fabric of snow was pulling back.
The rain—was each rain drop individual? a different shape?—the rain hurried the process, separated the snow into flakes that melted quickly, that shred the fabric and let the sharp blades of grass rise up again. Beauty behind her, beauty before her, beauty pushing up through the snow.
It was raining, and she was happy. One woman, one blade, one flake, one drop, each one like no other, part of the whole. It was all she needed on the gray day.
It was so simple.
The cup of happiness brims when you start with one.
© 2014 Kathleen Coskran