January 11, 2010
Dark, damp, chilly morning. Narrow rivulets of icy snow-melt hug curb edges, quietly join together and gather momentum on gently sloping streets, widen into pond-sized puddles, and finally tumble over each other through black iron grates to join rumbling underground rivers. Front lawns, only a few hours ago under thick quilts of fluffy white snow, now shiver as the blankets disintegrate into summer-weight lacy crocheted afghans. Daisy the dog rolls her eyes, as she stops to look back at her master who, dressed incongruously in heavy winter jacket over summer t-shirt and shorts, precariously picks his way along sidewalks lumpy with icy patches of hard-stomped snow.
Overhead, fingers of dawn light reveal a cloud-heavy sky painted in water-brushed indigo ink. Tardy high school students reflect the sky’s gray mood, as they grimly drag themselves the last few steps toward another day in prison. But at the elementary school just down the street, younger scholars lend a much-needed ray of sunshine to this winter morning. Joyfully they get in a few last slides and leaps down high piles of wet, dirty, melting snow, cheerfully ignoring the demanding call of the school bell. Laughter and happy shouts reverberate through the grayness of the morning. Wonderful winter!