From time to time, I tell the story of my first remembered experience with winter weather, and yesterday I was reminded of it as I stared out the back window of a taxi onto an urban landscape of pepper-colored snow. I wanted to know if the driver had children — odd of me to ask — and, if so, whether or not they liked to play in the stuff. Two, he replied, and sure they do, he said.
“It’s hard to find a child who does not like snow,” I told him, “though my first experience with it was not so wonderful.” And then I went on to tell my embroidered story: How we had just moved from California, where I had lived for most of my first years. And how I awoke one morning to find my front yard covered in a white blanket. And how I threw open the front door and ran outside barefooted and in pajamas. And how I howled at the unexpected pain arising from thrusting my hands below the deceptively sparkly surface. And how next I knew both my parents were comforting me and warming my extremities in hot water. And how they had wiped away the tears and had said, “There, there.”